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Friday, December 16, 2011

12/16/11 LB Articles and a Tour: Dining Room (Without Food Porn!)

I mentioned earlier that I was asked, and am now writing articles (and answering patient questions) for a website (Bariatric Surgery Source).  Just a little about the site, since it wasn't around when I started my research;

- According to the Founder and Editor-In Chief, "After two short years, we are honored to have become the 2nd most trafficked bariatric-surgery-focused content site in the world." 
- It covers all types of WLS.
- The focus is mainly on giving information.  There's a lot of detailed, comprehensive information from causes of obesity to plastic surgery (and I'm hoping to add a few bits/changes to the LB sections).
- It's well linked together, generally by subjects, and to external sources.
- There's now a link to the site in my sidebar. 

I've committed to write at least monthly articles. For my first articles (he calls them blogs), I started with some inspiration and a WL tool; my 'Before/After' pics (yes, still hard to share, but I know how much seeing others helped me, and how much it's helped me in my journey, BDD and all the head stuff), and my second article is the theme of my book 'choices' (finding what works for YOU) and so I started that with the biggest choice I made in my journey; a lifestyle and not dieting anymore. 

You'll find them linked HERE (and I'd love for you to leave your comments on there...at the bottom of the articles).

OK as requested, I'll start giving you the Christmas house tour (sorry if I repeat anything from past years, I can't remember) and hope this inspires someone to get crafty.  I'll start with the Dining Room (minus the food porn), since it's my favorite.  It really looks beautiful at dinner with all the candles lit all over the room.

This year, I added the three Lenox pierced ornaments (hanging on fishing line from the ceiling) above my pierced Leedsware plates (with some silk holly's on top).

What's easier than putting ornaments in a glass vase?  Well, buying a silk candle ring, cutting the ring and then just placing it anywhere around your lamp lamp base (holly ring).


Stick some ornaments upside down in any candle holder (or in this case, spools)...with the candles lit, they really sparkle.

My MIL started me on my Christmas Lenox Holiday china collection...on the buffet.

...And place settings on the table.  I always buy 'Christmas Crackers' to open at dessert time, and this year I found the ornament place card holders (TJ Maxx <$10).

DH's family's old Shiny Brite boxed sets on top and old cardboard Santa's.

I made the Apple/Pineapple (glue gunned to a Styrofoam) cone on a cake pedestal with a holly wreath (picks and more glue).  Fake greens swagged on the chandelier with some bows and ornaments hanging below.

I bought the premade berry wreaths and just pinned a piece of ribbon to the top of my valances and around the wreaths.  Tree toppers work great as 'finials' on the top corners of any furniture piece (or in candlesticks).

I brought out my Polish Pottery bells (on the bowl shelf) and ornaments (hanging).

And some glass bead garlands (Target) hung from the door casing with command hooks and add some bows.  This year I added one lighted bead garland (Home Depot)...looks cool at night).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12/14/11 Fa-la la-la AHHHHHHHH!!!

Yes, I've fallen off the face of the Earth. I'm not sure what happened this year, but I'm SO far behind in getting ready for the holiday.  I'm blaming it all on DD...since she moved out.  She was my biggest helper with all the decorating and shopping (my 'boys club' around here is useless for anything except hanging the outside decorations).

I've been running around like a crazy woman.  Quick 'note to self' here...do NOT keep putting off all your annual Doctor visits because you are too busy...eventually you still have to go to use your insurance funds before the end of the year, and it will now be the BUSIEST time of the year (eye Doc yesterday, Dentist tomorrow...*sigh*).

It's going to be a CRAZY weekend.  We pick DS1 up from college Friday morning, company arrives Friday afternoon, and DD's lease is up and she's moving in with the BF that we love (yes, a very big step for her/them) so we'll be moving her across the city on Saturday (...and probably Sunday...my 'Barbie' girl has too many 'accessories' LOL). 

Somewhere in there I need to start making cookies, and start wrapping presents, and mail my 'Secret Santa' gifts, and...(OK, *deep breaths*...I'm getting hives just thinking about it all)...

Anyway, here's a brief moment as we were leaving for a holiday shindig.

I've been asked to share some decoration pics, so I'll try to take some pics around the house and post them soon.  For now, here's the front of the house this year (dag, another thing for my 'to do' list...I need to make some new bows for the railing swags).









And here's the front door (I added some battery powered lights to the fresh front door wreath this year)...










...and in case you're all done with your holiday to-do list (I hate you)...here's a draft blog I wrote on the 6th (when I was still 'fa-la-laing'!) and got so busy I forgot to post it LOL...

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12/6/11 Happy 'Shoe Day'!  She's Making A List...

What's better than a day to celebrate SHOES!  WHAT?  It's NOT about the shoes?  'Scuse ME?!  OK, OK, Happy St. Nicholas Day!!!

...and I hope you remembered to put your shoes out last night! 

Santa checked in at our house last night to see if we've been naughty or nice and to collect our letter's with Christmas wishes (ummm...nope, not really...I couldn't get DS2 to continue his '3 wishes' letters).

I've been busy...shopping.

All this was SO much easier when the kiddos were young and I had those '3 wishes' for Santa letters with me.  My middle one, DS1, still has no clue what he wants for Christmas...my DD could give me a never ending list, and DS2 is getting a very expensive guitar as his main gift...that he already knows about...and lest you think we're spoilers...he saved all his birthday money from us/others, his work money, and we/others are paying the rest for Christmas (yes, it's that expensive...and he's that good at playing now, and is ready for it). 

So where is the Christmas magic?  Where are those kids that would squeal with delight on Christmas morning?  I've been busy making it...magic.

Yes, I've been busy shopping (hang on, I know that's not what Christmas is about...or all the magic, but some of the fun is in the giving).  We even took a trip out with the boys on Black Friday Thursday before midnight.  There's a big shopping plaza just minutes from our house and so we thought we'd take a drive down.  We enter the plaza uphill from the plaza's enormous parking lot (I'm talking thousands and thousands of parking spots)...we overlook the entire lot to see that it's just about full and people are parking alongside the islands.  We all gasp in surprise and from the back seat my boys start loudly singing Epic Music..."AHHH, AHHH.....a, AHH, AHH!!!..." (wish I was smart enough to find it for you on youTube).  DH and I were in hysterics laughing as they continued the choir act all the way down the hill.  We took a drive past the biggest stores (the line for Target was now about a thousand people...four stores down, almost to Kohl's...which also had a huge a$$ line). 

I have a strong aversion to crowds.  The reason we were, many times, the first family in line at EarlyCrack Of Dawn, Extra Magic Hour mornings at Walt Disney World (besides the bonus of getting to visit all the characters in peace and walk on every ride in Fantasyland) is because I HATE CROWDS!  Luckily my family feels the same way...We just laughed at all the shoppers as we circled around to drive immediately back home (NO way we were getting into that mess...What's next?!  Black Thanksgiving?!!...Oh yeah, I guess we WERE there on Thanksgiving...ughh)

We've been at the stores at 4am, Black Friday, quite a few times too (got some unbelievable deals over the years)...and we were back home in bed by the time the crowds got bad.  The boys couldn't believe how many people would stand in line now at midnight compared to the relatively few of us who would be there with coffee in hand at 4am in the past (the boys have been with us in recent years). 

DH went back down at around 8am and was still able to find the three high ticket 'door buster' items we were mainly shopping for (with no big crowds)...so we had another laugh.  I spent the next week online buying up more, from the comfort of my home (have I mentioned lately that I'm NOT a shopper?). 

I'm getting to know the FedEx guy really well.  He was commenting yesterday on all the heavy boxes I get, as I 'let' him bring the latest one into the foyer...apparently a put-together-yourself (furniture) big TV console makes for a very heavy box...I wouldn't know (I think I owe Mr. FedEx a fruitcake, or maybe a bottle of wine, when he's back today).  Yes, a new enormous flat screen also arrived for the basement rec room...FYI; Goodwill will take your old 65" projection TV (that we bought for our reward for finishing the basement by ourselves for 7 months) as long as it still works perfectly.  We had to rent a box truck this weekend and about killed ourselves (and the help of one neighbors, thanks!) getting that behemoth out of the basement and into the truck (Mr. FedEx would have been happy to see me breaking my back)...Thank G*d our Goodwill had a forklift to get it out of the truck...'biggest TV they've ever gotten'...glad we could halp set a new record...*sigh*...Men!...apparently, 'He who dies with the most/best TV's wins' (and isn't it amazing that the new LED TV cost about 1/2 what the projection one did 10 years ago!).

Christmas shopping is an 'almost OCD' person's nightmare.  I can't tell you the amount of time I've spent researching different items we're buying (Why does everyone on my list want electronics?  Don't they know I'm tech-challenged!)...First, I have to figure out which model we want (how do I know off-hand which camera, GPS, e-reader, TV, etc. is best?!)...then, I have to find the best price.  When it comes (thank you Mr. FedEx), I have to put it on my Christmas spreadsheet...yes, I'm serious...we spend an equal amount on each child and they will have the exact same number of gifts to open on Christmas morning...even if I have to stuff 10 things into one package (they'll have lots of other things to blame on me as an adult, but not that I wasn't fair).  I'm now sitting in a sea of boxes and bags...'I'm making a list, checking it twice...'.  Like I said...an 'almost OCD' nightmare (like Christmas isn't stressful enough...it's a wonder that I LOVE Christmas so much!).

Yep, I've also been creating the real magic...I've been buying surprises, making gifts, collecting 'thanks for the memories' items, and making all my magical plans.

Here are a few of this years 'Holiday Exchange' gifts/door sprays (cut up some garland's from JoAnn's and made bows/added bells...easy).








Oh, and I also found a few items for me along the way...since my Shoe Fairy never showed up (no magic Fairy Godmother for me apparently).  My feet are a full size less than pre-op...I NEED new shoes!)...here's the newest pair (I was looking for some heeled loafers all Fall...found these on the clearance shelf, and they'll do).










I'm off to my spreadsheet...the second snowfall is supposed to come this afternoon...fa, la, la, la...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

11/30/11 Meat Bigot and New LB Patents

Hey peeps!  Hope you all had a GREAT holiday week!  I know I did!  Exhausting, but fun!

It was nice to have DS1 home for the week...even though he's still on 'college time' (aka slept until noon), so we had limited hours of 'overlap'.  DS2 and he had a great time...one night they were up until 5am playing the new video game.  DS2 even commented the day he left 'I miss my brother!  Who am I going to play (video) games with?!'  Ummm...remember me?...Many years ago, when you first started playing these, who was the one that figured out that you could actually get in and ride in those vehicles that you and your brother had been running right past for six months!!!

Thanksgiving was fun, but a little hectic.  I decided to try some new things in the cooking dept. this year...yeah, I hear you...'new' and 'Thanksgiving' shouldn't happen on the same day, let alone 'cooking' and 'BG'...but you know me, I'm always up for 'process improvement' and making things better...So I learned a few lessons some good, some bad...so like my LB journey (stay tuned for new LB/WLS patents).

- Lesson 1:  I made two, 11+ lb. turkey's instead of one huge one.  I was watching a show where they were discussing dark and white meat (apparently you're either a lover of one or the other, not both...there's a lot of turkey meat bigotry going on out there! Are you a meat bigot?), and someone mentioned cooking two birds to get more dark meat...well, 4 out of 5 of us are dark meat lovers (once you go...), so of course I'm a risk taker...settled.

When you buy two pretty large birds you need a pan the size of the two birds rack in your oven...nope, two pans would be even better!  It's kinda like a bra...one cup, no matter how large, just doesn't get the job done (especially true after WLS...*idea* I should invent a bra with wires or sticky tape all the way around to keep our saggy boobs/excess skin in place!  Anyone 'fallen out' yet?...not even sleeping on your side?...anyone? anyone?).  Note to self: buy pans before next year...my enormous oval roasting pan was on overload...wing elbows had to be covered with foil (No burnt funny-bones in my house!! I need all the laughter I can get!), and there was no way to get to the juices easily to baste them.

-  Lesson 2: When you upgrade from the old dial style meat thermometer to a new digital one, try it out first, or at least move it to several places in the bird it around and test things...it's like an infant with a fever...before calling the doc and getting him out of bed, test under the tongue, under the arm, and up the kazoo!

-  Lesson 3: Cooking two turkey's side by side is kinda like sunbathing side by side...the person next to you is shading you from the heat.  The point where the two turkeys were jammed came together cooked more slowly than the outside points (cutting the meat and a convection oven soon fixed the problem).  I believe the trick is to rotate the turkey's halfway through the cooking time (yes, even in two pans)...at least that's where I'm headed next year...that or a little suntan lotion on the outside parts.

- Lesson 4: Buying an 'injector' was a great new idea...even the white meat was full of juicy goodness (what's not to like about stock and more butter (4 sticks)?  Now, if I could just figure out how to inject bacon (what doesn't taste better with bacon LOL)!  I wonder if that needle would work in my port?...hey, *idea* I could invent 'flavored saline' for fills!...I wonder if the flavors would penetrate the plastic...not unheard of, as plastics do take in flavors/smells...this would be why perfumes and potpourri should never be stored in plastic...hey, don't believe me?...Just go smell/taste that tupperware that you always store your onions in!  Mmmm...chocolate flavored saline...mmm...I wonder if 'bacon' flavored saline would cause more head hunger or less? 

- Lesson 5: Be prepared to pay more, but two 'young' turkeys taste better than one large 'old' turkey...hmmm there's a LB analogy in there somewhere (yes, I know I'm old).

- Lesson 6: Just because you charge the batteries and have the camera and camcorder sitting ready to go does NOT mean the pictures will magically get taken (and G*d knows nobody in my family will just pick one up...Obese Mom = she's always been behind the cameras).  So EPIC FAIL!  I have NOT ONE PICTURE from Thanksgiving for the first time...ever (I almost cried).  And I'm telling you, it was a work of art...no one sets up a buffet like I do (it actually tastes pretty good, but I know it looks even better).  And where are all the pics of my happy, stuffed family around the table?!!  I guess the upside here is that I'm getting used to tossing the camera to others and getting my photo taken...I just have to remember the toss. 

- Lesson 7: Mini pies were a great new idea (I bought a muffin pan with extra large rounds, because I couldn't find the individual tart ones).  DD brought the BF to dinner so it was easy to load them up with leftovers and some pies (made 2 kinds) to take home...plus, when you say 'I ate the whole pie!' it doesn't mean what it used to!!  OK, here's a pic of the leftover mini pies the next day...and please see that I also bought these three (aren't they cute?!) mini cake/pie pedestals (inexpensive @ TJMaxx and Marshall's) for my sideboard.


And did you notice the little pastry pumpkins I handmade for the center of each pumpkin pie?! OK, we won't talk about the pretty leaves I made for the chocolate chip pies...that sunk into the pies when they cooked (we never found them again) ...I told you, I'm WAY to creative to be a great cook!
OK, I've got my two new patents and now I need a few of you for my 'trials'...sign up now if you have saggy boobs that try to climb fall out of your bras...and here if you would like to 'taste' flavored saline at your next fill (chocolate, bacon, and potato chip flavors are now available...I'm also adding liver as my 'control' group...anyone? anyone?...perhaps it will cure the 'hungries' permanently?).
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