Thursday, February 23, 2012

Change is A Comin...

Change is a comin' in our home. This weekend, Danny and I began working on our upstairs. What is our upstairs like currently, you ask? Well let me just tell you. It is a big empty room that runs the length of the house. There is some tragic wood paneling, a strange pegboard ceiling, grody cork flooring, an awesome built-in desk with some fabulous 70's pattern laminate, an interesting half wall made of pegboard, a giant closet, some built in dressers and very little ventilation/air/heat. Needless to say this is a space that we don't ever use. (Ironically, when Danny first moved into the house, it was a trainwreck, and the only place that we could sleep was in the upstairs. Just imagine me and Danny, living in this one room with two cats (which I am allergic to, and I was mortal enemies with one of them) and sleeping on an air mattress that had a slow leak, so that we would wake up pretty much on the floor every morning.)

This room is going to be transformed into a home theater/office space, that can also be used as a guest bedroom. We took down the weird pegboard wall and ceiling, and began sanding the walls to get them ready to paint. We are going to eventually replace the lights, add a ceiling fan or two, replace the floor, put wainscotting in for the ceiling, add more electrical circuits and convert the dressers into bookcases. I'm excited to see how everything will end up, and I think it will be pretty awesome! We're totes inviting folks over to hang out when it's all finished!

The weird pegboard wall has already been taken down. 
Pull down those ceiling tiles, boy!

Change is a comin' in me. I'm not a skinny girl. I've never been a skinny girl. I've always been athletic, muscular and curvy, and I am A-OK with that. Honestly, I would much rather be shapely and womanly than bone thin. But over the past 6 or 7 months, I have just been a mess. I have fallen off the fitness wagon. I have fallen off and gotten tangled up and dragged along behind. The bane of my existence is shopping for the point where I have broken down crying in the store. *Ask the boy about that day. It was traumatizing for both of us.*

My goal is to get down to 150 pounds by my birthday. That's 31 pounds of Amber to go bye-bye. I want to be able to buy pants that don't look like I've poured them on (It doesn't matter what size I buy, pants just really aren't made for my body shape). I want to be able to get shorts this summer and not worry that I'm Cameltoe McGee or that my legs look like sausages about to burst out of the casing.

I miss my collarbones. I don't own a scale because I don't really care what my weight is. I'm far too muscular to worry about having small numbers on the scale. If I ever get down to 120 pounds, it's almost guaranteed that I've had a leg amputated somewhere along the way. My biggest indicator is how my clothes fit (clearly not well these days) and whether I can see my collarbones. I can't see them, and I don't know when they stopped being well-defined.

So, now it's out there in the universe and interwebs. I am not ashamed of where I am physically and sharing it, so that's what I'm going to do. If you don't care, that's fine. It just helps me to remain accountable to myself if I can show some progress, especially if it's out there for others to see, rather than just being recorded in my personal notebook.

Now, this blog is not about to become something focused on diet and exercise. That's not interesting to me. But I will share my stats, maybe weekly, and I'm going to try to do something fun and out of the ordinary at least once a month and I may talk about that. Hell, if you have anything that you are excited about in your healthy living, let me know. I'll try most things at least once! On that note, it may be time for me to register for the Warrior Dash! Who's ready to get dirty with me?!? Ru, I know you're in there like swimwear :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spicy, Chocolatey Goodness...(and I'm Not Talking About Me!)

So, I was going to start this post off by describing how I'm pretty sure that Mother Nature is exhibiting symptoms of Dissociative Personality Disorder. But then I got bored trying to make the metaphorical analysis, so here's the deal. It's cold and snowy this evening. Last week it was like 60 degrees. My nerves are all jangly because the weather is all over the place. And even though I HATE being cold, I would rather it just be damn winter than being a big spring-like tease. Which leads me to the main reason for this post.

After I got home from work and running several errands, I was fuh-reezing and all I wanted was a mug of something warm. Hot. Chocolate. Yussssss. Then I realized I didn't have any milk and I didn't want to go back out. So I improvised. I had some heavy whipping cream, and figured I would make it work. This is what I came up with: (Not gonna lie, I felt like this last sentence needed to have the "DINK DINK" sound that comes at the beginning of Law and Order: SVU. It felt more epic in my head)

This is enough to make one mega fatkid mug of hot chocolate, like I drank, or 2 normal sized mugs. Don't judge me. I was cold.

1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (1/3 cup for one mega fatkid mug, 1/2 cup for 2 mugs)
1.5 oz of whatever hot chocolate powder you prefer (I'm partial to the World Market Gingerbread or S'Mores flavors)
Boiling water
Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
Pinch of ground ginger, optional
Pinch of cinnamon, optional

With a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream until it just begins to stiffen. I did it in the mug, you can do it in the mug or in a small bowl, and then separate it out into 2 mugs. Add the hot chocolate powder, cayenne pepper, ginger and cinnamon and continue beating until the cream is stiff. Don't go too long, or it'll get grainy!

Separate into two mugs, if you're going that route. Add enough boiling water to fill the mug(s). Stir to melt the whipped cream. Drink that shit up.

Let me tell you what your mouth is about to experience. The thickest, creamiest, deliciousest (yup, that just happened) hot chocolate of life. Because all the powder is mixed into the whipped cream, you don't get that sad clump of graininess at the bottom of the mug. It doesn't start out with a hearty mouthfeel and get all thin at the end. This drink is thick and creamy all the way to the end. If you're brave enough to add the spices, it gives your tummy an extra feeling of warmth, and makes you just want to curl up under a fuzzy blanket and never leave. It's a pretty damn good way to deal with the cold and if I had any talent whatsoever at building a fire, that would be the perfect way to relax on a cold evening :-) Next time I make this bad boy, I'm using dark chocolate. It's gonna get crazy...