Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week 8: Check In

Pounds Lost this Week:  -2.0
Pounds Lost to Date:  -16.5
Pounds Left to Go:  18.5

2 months.  I’ve been at this for 2 months….doesn’t seem like it. I’m very proud of myself for sticking with the program as long as I have and for my success.  I’m almost halfway to my goal and I have no plans of stopping anytime yet.  I now weigh half a pound less than I was at my 5 week prenatal appointment but not quite at the last recorded weight I have pre-baby (almost).  People at work are definitely noticing and my clothes are not fitting right.  However I don’t want to go buy anything just yet since I could still go down more. 

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but at the same time that I started WW I also joined a weight loss competition at work.  We just did the first interim weigh-in this week and so far I am in the lead - yaaay!  The winner gets bragging rights a nice fat cash prize!  That prize money would really come in handy in paying for our vacation in September.  I have the worst luck and never win anything; whether it is gambling, raffles or even bingo so I would be psyched to win this competition!  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Favorites: Week 4

For this week's installment of Friday Favorites the prompts are:
  • Favorite (or Dream) Job
  • Favorite vacation spot
  • Favorite Book

Favorite (or Dream) Job:
When I was a kid I always dreamed of being a Marine Biologist.  Every trip to the aquarium or to Sea World would get my mind thinking of how these animals could survive in just water and what exactly makes them work.  In High School I excelled in my biology classes (my dad was a science teacher so science always interested me to begin with) but at some point in high school and when I got to college I decided Marine Biology just wasn’t a feasible career and instead I settled on something more reliable – accounting.   I know, I know, apples and oranges, right?!  I jumped from a science to a math career.   In some ways I think I would have made an excellent Marine Biologist, but at the same time the road getting there would have been much different and I don’t know if I would have had the strength to stick it out...

Now when I take my son to the aquarium I still wonder about the fish and get jealous of the Marine Biologists who are feeding the sea lions.

Favorite Vacation Spot:
My husband and I love Sanibel Island, Florida.  We went there for the first time back in 2003 and we absolutely LOVED it.  For vacations we are very content to just sit on a beach, relax and maybe do a little boating/fishing and easy hiking.  Sanibel was definitely the place for us.  It’s a very small island (12 miles long) with another small island (a 4 mile long island named Captiva) connected at the north end of Sanibel.  There are cute little shops, great restaurants, bike paths, fishing, golf, a wildlife refuge and beautiful beaches.  Sanibel is known for their seashells and if you wake up early enough and stroll out onto the beach you could be lucky enough to find one of the big conch shells that has washed ashore during the night.  When we were there I did some shell picking and used the shells to decorate a picture frame to put picture of the two of us in from the trip. 

We always rent a condo on the beach which works out perfect for us.  We’ve been renting from the same woman every time we go so we know exactly which unit we’re going to be getting and it’s a very beautiful complex.   We have a private beach a few steps away, a screened in porch to relax and watch the sunsets from, a pool & jacuzzi, and our own kitchen to use for breakfast and lunch so that we’re not eating at restaurants for every meal.  It really is like a home away from home when we’re there.  We haven’t been back to Sanibel in quite a few years but we would like to plan a trip back soon with our son so that he can experience our favorite vacation spot.

Here’s a picture from our first trip to Sanibel.  It’s the only one I have scanned in…goes to show you how long ago we went.  I didn’t even have a digital camera back then!  Ahh, we were so thin back then too.  This is our dieting inspiration picture :)

Favorite Book:
I have to kind of cheat on this one.  I don’t have a favorite book at all.  I love to read but I’m horrible at keeping up at it.  I don’t have a favorite author or a favorite book, but I do have a favorite genre.  I tend to gravitate to mystery/suspense novels.  I like Stephen King and Dean Kootz but I also like to read a lot of non-fiction.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sarcasm City: Admit One

Humor is a good thing.  I have it, use it, love it, but sometimes maybe I use a bit too much sarcasm. But who wants to be boring, right?  As you see by my post titles I like to be witty and use catchy blog titles….gets your attention doesn’t it?    

Whoever said that sarcasm is the lowest form of humor needs to have his head examined, and yes I said his.  It requires quick whit and always gets a laugh.  However, using humor and sarcasm in the written form can be extremely difficult.  Whether it is via email, blog, message board etc. it is hard to express tone and sometimes humor/sarcasm can be misinterpreted.  That’s not going to stop me though.  I like to make people laugh and I'd like to think that people find me humorous (or then again maybe they’re just laughing AT me…haha).

So maybe I use sarcasm and humor because I’m a little bitter...or maybe it’s a defense mechanism...or maybe it’s just because I’m a New Yorker.  But to know me is to love me and to love my sarcasm is to love me even more.  That’s just me :)

This week’s Working Mommy Wednesday prompt over on Work, Wife, Mom….Life! is to write about a personality trait that, for good or bad, is just a part of you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Leader of the Pack

For the last few years I have been very much involved in the Working Parents Network (WPN) at my job.  I have sort of unofficially taken on a leadership role so it kind of made sense for me to take over as one of the official leaders as the torch was passed on from the current leaders.  My responsibilities as being one of the co-leaders of the WPN will include attending the monthly meeting that covers all of the professional networks at my company and leading the WPN monthly meeting.  I already attend 1 of the 2 monthly meetings, so what’s one more meeting in my packed calendar, right?! 

The current problem we are facing is that we have a very small core group that attend meetings & plan all the events we run.  When I say small, I mean small…literally 4-6 people.  In total there are about 60 people who are signed up to be a part of the WPN, but none of them come to meetings or get involved.  It is extremely challenging to plan “Take Your Sons & Daughters to Work Day” for 60 children with only 6 people!!   If we don’t get more involvement soon, management could eventually kill our network.   

So one of my goals as the new ‘co-president’, so to speak, is to not drive up membership (that we have) but to drive involvement of the members we have.  I’m wracking my brain for idea on how to get people more engaged.  I realize everyone is very busy at work (I am a perfect example), but if people signed up for this network they must have on some level wanted to get involved in Working Parent Initiatives/Events.

I was thinking of doing a raffle (of what I have no idea yet) at our next WPN meeting to try and get people to show up…but would love to hear your creative ideas/gimmicks to get people more involved. 

So let’s hear ‘em!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week 7: Check In

Pounds Lost this Week:  -2.5
Pounds Lost to Date:  -14.5
Pounds Left to Go:  20.5

I guess being sick with a stomach virus this week had its benefits…just kidding.  I would have much rather gained weight this week than have dealt with the sickness that went through my house. My appetite was very low this week due to the illness so I can’t take much credit.  My son was sadly the hardest hit (my husband somehow escaped unscathed) so I worked from home 3 days this week to take care of both myself and A. Thankfully we are all on the mend now and after the 3 day weekend it will be back to the office, and reality.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Favorites: Week 3

For this week's installment of the HV Nestie Blog Challenge the prompts are:

Favorite TV show, or one that is most like your family:
I wouldn’t say that there is a TV show out there that is most like my family so I’ll go with favorite. (ok, ok, well maybe my extended family is a bit like Everyone Loves Raymond…hehe),

My all time favorite show is LOST.  I know it’s not on the air anymore, but that wasn’t a requirement ;-)   I don’t consider myself a sci-fi person, but I loved this show.  Was it all purgatory? Was it real life? What exactly WAS the Island?    and don't forget the NUMBERS!   4 8 15 16 23 42 

I won’t subject you all to my theories, but it is this open to interpretation aspect of the series that I found most fascinating.  Not to mention there were some really hot guys on it!  One of the best scenes in the entire 6 Seasons is the one where Charlie dies.  Not Penny's Boat!!


Favorite Store to Shop at:
Well, I guess that depends what I’m shopping for.  I haven’t done much shopping for myself recently, but when I do I usually go to Ann Taylor Loft or Macy’s.  I used to shop at Zara a lot, but since I moved out of the city I haven’t been back in a while.  For my son’s clothing I love Gymboree, Gap Kids & Macy’s.  For general shopping I’m a big Target fan.  Every time I go in there I find stuff.  I also do a lot of my shopping online since it’s so much easier to shop in your pajamas than to fight with crowds & parking.

Favorite Recipe:
So many to choose from…..but I think I’ll go with my hot spinach & artichoke dip.  I make this for almost every party I host.  It’s a huge crowd pleaser and since it’s served hot you can make it the day before and then heat back up in the oven.  (This recipe will be on the recipes page that I’m building and hope to have active soon)  Sorry, no pic of this one.  I'll have to take one the next time I make it.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

(2) 10 oz. boxes frozen spinach
¼ cup real butter
1 Tbs minced fresh garlic
2 Tbs minced onion
¼ cup flour
1 pint heavy cream
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp hot sauce
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup grated fresh Pecorino Romano Cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
½ cup shredded Vermont white cheddar
14 oz jar artichoke hearts – coarsely chopped

  1. Thaw and squeeze all liquid from spinach; must be very dry.  Mince and set aside.
  2. In heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add garlic and onions and sauté about 3-5 minutes
  3. Add flour to make a roux.  Stir and cook about 1 minute
  4. Slowly add heavy cream, stirring with a whisk to prevent lumping.
  5. Mixture will thicken at the boiling point.  When it thickens, add lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and Pecorino Romano cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted.
  6. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes
  7. Stir in sour cream.  Fold in dry spinach and artichoke hearts.
  8. Sprinkle white cheddar on top
  9. Microwave to melt cheese and serve or can put in a 350°F oven for a few minutes until cheese melts.

Note:  Serve with salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips for dipping.

Options:  you can use fresh spinach instead of frozen if you like.  You can steam the spinach, mince and add or add raw minced spinach and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Life in Pictures

This week’s Working Mommy Wednesday prompt over on Work, Wife, Mom….Life! is to “Show us your life! (work, house, family, etc in pictures.)”  What a fun post!!  I have been taking pics over the last week to give you all a little glimpse into my life.  Hope you enjoy!

My Family:  My favorite recent picture of my husband, son and I

Our first “baby””.  We adopted Layla when she was 8 weeks old.  She turns 7 years old next month....and is officially now a "senior" :(

Our Home: It’s small for now, but it’s our little piece of heaven.

Our beautiful new bathroom that we completely renovated this past summer.  I love it!!

 One of my favorite rooms in the house.  We completely redecorated our guest room when I got pregnant.  I am thrilled with how the color block wall came out.

The downstairs playroom area.  This is where we spend most of our time.

our bar!  very useful on stressful nights after work ;-)

My Daily Commute:  I’m so lucky to pass through such a beautiful and historic building every day. Most evenings I'm sprinting across this room to make my train, but on nights like the one when I took this picture I had a few extra moments to linger in the main hall and take in the beauty of Grand Central.


My "mini" office where I usually work to/from the city.  a.k.a Metro-North Railroad.

My Job Where I spend 8+ hrs/day.  Usually with a big cup of coffee.

My View:  This is the view from my window….and yes, the brick building in the foreground is a Pub.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week 6: Check In

Pounds Lost this Week:  -1.0
Pounds Lost to Date:  -12.0
Pounds Left to Go:  23.0

Down 2 belt notches!!!   Very, very excited!  I also started wearing this past week a pair of brand new jeans I haven’t fit into for the past year.  I’m 4 lbs away from pre-baby weight (only 3 years later) but still a ways to go to my ultimate goal. 

I am happy to report that I finally got on the Wii last night for an hour.  I’m only 6 weeks late but hey, better late than never, right?!  I make so many trips up and down the 3 flights of stairs in our house that I’ve essentially been doing the stairmaster every night since day 1.  A was so funny watching me on the Wii.  He asked to play too and was doing the Wii Fit Step Aerobics and then he played some tennis.  He was pretty good too!  Now to only be able to keep up with it a few nights a week...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Favorites: Week 2

The prompts for this week are:
  • Favorite piece of clothing
  • Favorite Superhero
  • Favorite Movie

Favorite Piece of Clothing:
I had to think hard about this one.  A few months ago I would have said the baggy sweater or sweatpants that I felt comfortable in.  But now I’m starting to fit back into some of my other clothes and old favs are making a comeback.  I have a tie between an old and a new piece.  One is a long black belted sweater coat that I bought from J Crew when I was in college. (ok, so maybe it’s still a baggy sweater LOL) It’s such the perfect piece and I wear it throughout the fall and spring.  It never fails that every year someone asks me where I got it and I have to admit to them that it’s 10+ years old!


My other favorite is a brand new tank that I bought late last year at Old Navy.  I own a lot of purple shirts but this is my favorite..  I loved the jeweled tone of the neckline and the way the fabric falls.  It just makes me feel pretty when I put it on, which is what clothes are supposed to do.

Favorite Superhero:
Superwoman!!!  She’s a crime fighting bad ass with some sick cuff bracelets.  Need I say more?

Favorite Movie:
My favorite has to be The Breakfast Club, hands down.  I’m a huge fan of John Hughes’ movies and grew up watching these in the 80’s & early 90’s.The Breakfast Club….Sixteen Candles…..St. Elmo’s Fire….love all of them.  I remember back when I was dating my husband we used to watch The Breakfast Club at least once a week (it’s one of his favorites too).  I pretty much wore out the VHS tape during college (yes, I was still watching VHS back then) and now have the DVD.  When A is entering his teenage years I will definitely be introducing him to these!

Join in by answering all of the prompts below and linking up your post.  Don’t forget to also grab the button on the right too (please)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mangia, Mangia!

You know you have an Italian kid when he eats his spaghetti like this:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nobody’s Perfect

None of us are perfect….far from it.  Anyone who thinks they are just hasn’t looked closely enough at themselves.  All of us have different things we do well which are what makes us all so unique.

This week over at Work, Wife, Mom…Life! The talk is about strengths and weaknesses.  I’ve combined both prompts this week to look at what I do well and what I need to work on.   So except for the obvious Mom factor (which I totally rock at), here are my lists.

I rock at:

  • Organizing.  There’s a system for everything and everything has a system….don’t let my house fool you. My son’s things are the most organized thing in the house.  (I’m working on the rest of the rooms)
  • Planning.  I have a to-do list and spreadsheet for almost anything you can imagine. 
  • Being on time.  Both my Husband and I are prompt, if not early people.  I hate waiting for people so I try not to do the same to them.
  • My job.  Have to ‘toot toot’ my own horn on this one.  I think I’m pretty great at what I do and have found my grove juggling both work & baby.
  • Multi-tasking.  I think this is a female thing since my husband is terrible at it!
  • Cooking.  I enjoy cooking and have come a long way from my microwave macaroni cooking days in college.

I need to work on:

  • Keeping up with housework.  Hardly anybody likes cleaning, but I really loathe it.  I love a clean house but hate doing it.  So much so that I put it off until I can’t take it anymore and end up spending an entire Saturday cleaning the house top to bottom.
  • Actively listening to my Hubby.  I’m so horrible at this.  I usually yes him to death and then 5 minutes later have no idea what he just said.  Usually it’s because I’m doing 10 other things around the house.
  • Focusing too much on the little things.  I’ll get tripped up on getting a small detail right and let it delay an entire project I’m working on.
  • Going with the flow.  Kind of comes with the territory of being a planner.
  • Trying new things.  I like my comfort zone and can be stubborn about leaving it.
  • Waking up in the mornings. I am such a grouch until about 10.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spill Your Secrets…

…your potty training secrets that is.  Like many of you other toddler moms out there I am trying to get my little guy out of diapers.  However, he seems to have different plans.  We introduced him to the potty around 24 months.  Then about a month ago I started a sticker/prize system with him and it seems to be working somewhat (still slow going).  He gets a sticker every time he goes on the potty (2 stickers if he does #2) then puts it on his sticker chart.  Once he gets to 5 stickers he can pick a prize from the ‘prize bag’. They are doing a sticker chart system at daycare also, so it’s good I’m consistent. 

I’ve decided not to attempt pull ups, but go straight from diapers to underwear.   A was very excited to wear his new dinosaur underwear so one Saturday when we were home I gave it a shot (kept him close to the bathroom).  It turned out to be a big fail, so back a couple steps we went.  More recently, he’s had a couple good days where he’s stayed dry in his diapers and gone on the potty, which I’m taking as a really good sign that he’s getting it!  My goal is to have him trained by his 3rd birthday in April, but if he isn’t that’s ok.  I haven’t heard of a kindergartner starting school still in diapers so it will happen, eventually ;-)

So tell me what worked/is working for you?  Stickers? food bribery? naked approach? 1 Day or other ‘fast track’ methods? Waiting for him/her to be ready?  Are you using pull-ups or no pull-ups? I would love to hear other success stories of approaches that have worked.

Share, Share!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 5: Check In

Pounds Lost this Week:  -1.0
Pounds Lost to Date:  -11.0
Pounds Left to Go:  24.0

I’m not surprised by this week.  I actually thought I had possibly gained or had no loss so I’m happy to see at least something.  Not that I ate a ton this week, but I just could ‘feel’ it.  I had a girl’s night out 2 nights ago and cheated a bit.  I also haven’t played volleyball in a couple weeks because of the snow so I’m starting to feel a little lazy. 

Today is going to not be easy either.  We’re having some friends over to watch the Superbowl.  I’m attempting to make the party WW and Atkins Friendly, since half of the guests coming are dieting too.  I’m making:
-          Veggie & Dip Platter
-          Cheese Platter
-          Mixed Nuts
-          Baked Tostidos & Salsa
-          Baked Chicken wings with hot sauce
-          Ribs in the crockpot with a spice rub
-          Fruit Salad
-          Low-Carb Beer
-          Wine Spritzers

Then tomorrow it will be back on the salad wagon ;-)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Favorites: Week 1

The prompts for this week are:
  1. Favorite Song
  2. Favorite Food
  3. Favorite day of the week

Favorite Song:
I am addicted to my Sirius radio, so I don’t listen to much main stream radio anymore.  With that said, I am a huge fan of classic rock and listen to those stations the most.  I have many favorites, but this one is just a classic.

Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Favorite Food:
I don’t discriminate (much) against food so there are lots of foods I like.  While I would like to say that my favorite is something exquisite and fancy like lobster thermador, it isn’t.  My favorite is good ‘ole pizza.  I could eat it every day, breakfast lunch & dinner.  Give me a good pie with a crunchy crust and lots of cheese and I’m a happy woman.

Favorite Day of the Week:
Yes, I love weekends as much as the next person but I would have to say my favorite day of the week is Thursday.  Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of my pre-baby days when DH and I used to go out with our friends on Thursday nights or the “Thirsty Thursday” work happy hours I used to enjoy so much.  Now-a-days my Thursdays are filled with Thomas the Train and Goodnight Moon…and I’m perfectly happy with that.

Join in by answering the three prompts below and linking up your post.  Don’t forget to also grab the button on the right too (please)

  1. Favorite Song
  2. Favorite Food
  3. Favorite day of the week

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

WMW: Why I Blog

This week’s Working Mommy Wednesday prompts are:

#1- What drives/motivates you everyday?
#2- Do you feel starting a blog has improved your life or added one too many things on your plate?

I am a brand new blogger and have only been doing it for about 4 months.  But if I felt that starting this was adding too many things to my plate then I wouldn’t have even bothered or would have given up already.  I’ve had people ask me, “where do you find the time?”  Between working 40+ hrs a week, commuting 3 hrs a day, cooking, cleaning, laundry and taking care of an almost 3 year old I truly don’t know where I’m finding this time.  Most days I don’t sit down on the couch until after 9pm, but that’s the time when I grab the laptop and start writing.  Whether it’s something to post that night or something I keep for a later date, that’s my time to work on this.  I’m surprised at myself that I’ve been keeping up with it as much as I have.  Who knows how I’ll feel about it in another 6 months, but for now I’m enjoying it. 

Over the last 4 months I’ve discovered a few things:
(1)   that I am not a terrible writer
(2)   that I like designing and have a knack for creating graphics.  I created the header graphic and the buttons on my page and am working on other graphics & features to enhance my blog 

When I started this I convinced myself that nobody was going to read this.  Even my husband didn’t quite understand why I was bothering.  But I’ve found writing somewhat therapeutic and in some ways I feel that I’ve discovered my voice.  Whether 1 or 100 people are reading, it doesn’t matter to me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Newest Broadway Star!

As a proud mom I can’t help but brag about this one…..we seem to have a budding actor in the house!  Check out this video of A on Chicco's website (pronounced Kee-Ko).  Chicco is starting a campaign to bring brand awareness to the US so they asked for parents to submit videos of their children correctly pronouncing their brand name.  Starting in mid-February his video (along with others) will run on a billboard in Times Square!!!  How cool is that?!?! Plus he has a chance of being chosen to star in Chicco's ad campaign.   

After you've viewed his video go back to the gallery and under his video thumbnail you'll see a ‘thumbs up’ icon.  Click on it to "like" his video.  The more likes he gets the better his chances.

There’s still time to submit a video of your little one and have them be a Broadway star too!  Click here to submit yours.

HV Nestie Blog Challenge

Alright all you Husdon Valley Nesties out there in blog-land.  We’re starting our very own “Friday Favorites” blog challenge.  It’s all about your favorite things (ala Oprah).  Posts will be made weekly, on Fridays, according to the prompts on the list below.  To participate, simply answer the 3 prompts for that week on your blog and then link up your posts using the linkytool either here or on Diapers, Dishes, Lessons & Homework.  Also don’t forget to grab the HV Nestie's Favorite Things button from the right --->> to include in your weekly post.

Challenge starts this Friday February 4th.   Nesties from other areas are welcome to participate too!

Week 1:
  1. Favorite Song
  2. Favorite Food
  3. Favorite day of the week
Week 2:
  1. Favorite piece of clothing
  2. Favorite Superhero
  3. Favorite Movie
Week 3:
  1. Favorite TV show, or one that is most like your family
  2. Favorite Store to Shop at
  3. Favorite Recipe
Week 4:
  1. Favorite (or Dream) Job
  2. Favorite vacation spot
  3. Favorite Book
Week 5:
  1. Favorite (or most prized) possession (must be an object, not including photos)
  2. Favorite holiday
  3. Favorite gift you've ever received or given (life doesn't count)
Week 6:
  1. Favorite blog (and not your own)
  2. Favorite sport (can be one you play or watch)
  3. Favorite memory (past or present)
Week 7:
  1. Favorite thing about your husband/fiancé/boyfriend/significant other
  2. Favorite restaurant (non fast food)
  3. Favorite Children’s book
Week 8:
  1. Favorite story about your children or pets
  2. Favorite money saving tip
  3. Favorite website
Week 9:
  1. Favorite picture (can be a personal picture or a piece of art)
  2. Favorite fast food restaurant
  3. Favorite actor/actress
Week 10:
  1. Favorite thing about yourself (can be a feature or a talent, etc)
  2. Favorite cartoon character
  3. Favorite cocktail
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