_bbR3iY5lLSjzaZNziPYc6VX6tk Inspiration CAN be found EVERYWHERE!: October 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thirty One Gifts Winner

It is time to announce the winner in the Thirty-One Gifts giveaway ....

We used Random.org to generate the winning number - however I can not for the life of me get it to post here. So if you want a copy of the document I saved with the winning number - send me an email.

The winner was K Seholm!
She did a great post here.

I did try to get her email address - but it was not available (at least I couldn't find it) so I left a comment on her blog post about the contest.

You have until Tuesday at 6PM to claim your prize. If I don't hear from you by then - I will have to draw another number. I need your email address so that you and Ginger can hook up and use your gift certificate.

Hope you enjoy your prize and the great gift(s) it will get for you.

A Rose For You ...

A red rose for Unconditional Love

Yellow rose for financial wealth

Many pink roses for success

A white rose for everlasting happiness.

This unique one for knowledge

This beautiful purple for both inner and outer beauty

Many for a wonderful family that is always there for you

A royal blue for honesty

And finally, a glorious orange for a very long and healthy life.

Happy Halloween

Hope you all have a great day and night ......... Happy Halloween!!

I just had to .......... I know I know ........ don't hate me for it

Come on its cute and funny all at the same time - so long as it isn't in my "neighborhood"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things happen for a reason?

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. 

People change so that you can learn to let go, 

things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, 

you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one 
but yourself, 

sometimes good things fall apart 
so better things can fall together."
Marilyn Monroe
Maybe Marilyn was on to something here.  
What do you think?  Just a dumb blonde or smart beyond her years?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've been TAGGED!

My friend Mimi from Screaming Mimi was so kind as to "tag" me yesterday.  Of course I didn't find out until a little while ago - I know I have a huge backlog of blogger posts to read.  So if you are waiting for an answer ... I promise I will get back to you, even if I have to read the rest of the week.

I actually found out a few things about my friend that maybe I should have already known or confirmed things I did know when I read about her tag here

So here is your chance to learn a little more about me (cause I'm such a quiet and reserved person don'tcha know)

  1. What is your favorite memory from this past year?  This one is a little difficult because you have to pick just one, but since Jenn made last years memory being in a Meryl Streep movie, I think I have to pick the one that made me the proudest so far this year.  That would be my son's graduation from the Virginia Beach Fire Academy.  He graduated 3rd in his class.  His reason for 3rd was so Dan, it still makes me chuckle.   So now he has a degree in Fire Science with a major in Arson Investigation and a Fireman - pretty impressive right?
  2. What's your favorite foreign food?  I have not ventured outside of the US since I honeymooned in Bermuda, so I can't say what my favorite "real" foreign food is since we "Americanize" so many dishes.  I have become very fond of Sushi and will pick a Japanese restaurant any time I can.
  3. What is the best trip you've ever taken?  Since I don't take a lot of "trips", they are all special.  And everyone's honeymoon is "the best".  But I have to say the best one I planned was the trip I gave myself as a college graduation present - yes it was forever ago - but I went to Hawaii for 2 weeks and then San Francisco for 5 days on the way home.  I love looking at those pictures even now.
  4. What's your favorite time of the year?  It has to be Spring - late Spring to be specific.  I don't like the cold anymore (yes and I still live in NJ) so winter is definitely OUT and we won't even talk about the "white" stuff.  Summers can be way too hot and humid and muggy up here.  Yes Spring is the best  - the new awakening.
  5. At what age did you feel like a grown-up?  If you ask my mom - I was born a grown up.  But if you are asking me (which of course you are) ... I'll let you know when I really feel like one - maybe when I reach oh 70 or so. 
  6. What is your favorite breakfast?  There are so many - breakfast IS my favorite meal of the day.  You can do so much with waffles, pancakes, omelets ..... and throw in some hashbrowns (I love the hashbrown casserole at Cracker Barrel) and some real bacon - oh yes I'm in heaven.  But you really have to be careful with too much of any of these in your diet (or should I say "on" a diet which seems to be my lifestyle now - but I LOVED The Fresh Diet meals).
  7. If you had to keep your toenails painted one color for the rest of your life, what color would your paint them?  This one was pretty easy.  I allowed Jenn to help me "broaden" my color selection this summer, and I must say I did enjoy some of the different colors she selected for my toenails.  But even now I will chose Red for my toes if not "prodded" to do something else.  I could throw a picture in here since they are in the red family now - but I'll save you.
Now I know I have to pick some of my friends to answer 7 questions but first I have to think of 7 questions.  So I will think about what I want to know about some of my friends (that I don't already know) and then I will add those as soon as I can.   Hey it will make for another interesting post.

Don't miss my giveaways for CSN Stores and Ginger's Thirty-One Gifts,  there are still some time left to enter.  And there are some really interesting things that you can get from both sites.

The Fresh Diet Week 2 Day 7

Today is a sad day - it is the last day that I will be receiving The Fresh Diet meals for a little while.  You see we are in the process of buying a condo (we really are excited about this) and it is taking up a lot of "excess" capital.  It is also making us scrimp and save every place we can until we get to closing so we don't have any extra stress, since this is stressful enough - believe me I thought this was going to be easy and I was SOO wrong!

This morning I was so happy to come downstairs to make the coffee and see my little buddy waiting for me.  It really is a treat to see him sitting there.  I always know that something good will be in that bag!

Breakfast was Asparagus & Cheddar Cheese Quiche with Fresh Pineapple.  This was another one of those entrees where I like the "pieces" but not sure about the end result.  That was until I tasted it.  This was really very good - the Asparagus was still crisp without being overbearing.  It melded well with the egg and cheese.  I will have to try this one in my own kitchen.  I think the real trick will be getting the asparagus to the point where it isn't too "crisp" but definitely NOT "mush".  This could be my challenge for the weekend, if I can find some nice looking asparagus.

Lunch was Crispy Baked Goat Cheese Medallions with Mescalin Lettuce, Sliced Pears & Toasted Almonds with Raspberry Dressing.  Again this is a HUGE salad, and had to be put on one of my large dinner plates - just to get it all out!  The pears were not sliced - more like diced in little cubes, about a tablespoon.  The Toasted Almonds .... well they were walnuts but still a "nut".  Now I've had goat cheese a few times in a salad before, but not as much as what was offered in this dish.  I took the medallions (there were 4 large) and cut them into quarters.  I put 1/2 on the salad right out of the package and 1/2 I heated under the broiler in my toaster oven before putting on the salad.  The Raspberry Dressing was great.  It wasn't "overly" raspberry in flavor as some of the store-bought brands are, but just a nice flavor that doesn't overpower everything else.

If you read Day 6 (and if not why not?) you know that I opted to use my exercise as stacking wood towards this winters heat supplement.  I finished re-stacking the "well aged" wood that was left over from last year supply.  This was stacks 2 and 3 ... the other one is stacked by the steps for even "easier" access when I need to refill the bin inside.  Oh that one is almost full too so we should be set for a little while - maybe till Christmas.

My snack for today was Mini Sweet Potato & Turkey Sheppard's Pie.  I have never really liked Sweet Potatoes (unless they were fried) - but in the spirit of my trying everything I can - I picked this one for today.  I will say that this has started me questioning whether or not I have been missing out.  The sweet potato was sweet but not so much that you think sugar overload, but just enough to make you recognize it as different.  I will have to try cooking with sweet potatoes - without opting for frying (which we all know makes anything taste better).

Dinner was New York Strip Steak with Mango BBQ Sauce with Spanish Style Brown Rice and Haricot Vert.  This one was amazing.  How they make steak so that it is perfectly cooked (medium) without having it turn to shoe leather when it is heated in the microwave is beyond me.  The steak was tasty and still "soft" when I cut into it - I was really afraid it would be tough.  The Mango Sauce is amazing - it is just enough to add to the flavor of the steak without overpowering it.  I loved the Brown Rice - almost like a pilaf.  And what's not to love about Haricot Vert?  I'm not sure you can see in the picture or not, but these were so perfect.  The green was a nice bright color (maybe it was just blanched)  and still had a al dente feel.  I really hate overcooked vegetables - but somehow they have managed to make veggies perfect even after it is microwaved to reheat.

Dessert was Sugar Free Double Layer Chocoholic Cake.  I WANT the secret.  I NEED the secret!  My husband is always asking about cake or pie - specifically chocolate cake or apple pie - to have in the evening.  I make at least one of these 3 times a month at a minimum.  If I could make a Sugar Free version, like this cake, and have it taste as good as this one, I could make his "dessert" and not feel guilty about him eating dessert/snacks/just because I want it cake/pie almost every day.  This cake didn't have a "frosting" but did have a little filling to hold the layers together.  It was so very moist!  Honest IF I didn't know it was SF I would have sworn it came from the local bakery and was their full fat, sugar version.

I am really going to miss my little (green, blue, teal) buddy coming to visit every weekday.  I have to say that this was the best "diet" I've ever tried.  It is the most successful as well.  I lost 5 lbs the first week.  This week I have been in the midst of a "heat wave" with very high humidity (especially today).  This morning, on the 27th of October it was 72 degrees - in New Jersey!  I can feel how "bloated" I am from the heat and humidity this morning - my watch and rings feel very uncomfortable I'm retaining so much water.  But I did get on the scale and can report that even with all this uncomfortableness I am down another 2.2 lbs.  I bet if I am good for the rest of the week (when this weather is suppose to break) I will be down at least another few pounds. But the best thing - clothes I had put away last year for Fall/Winter are loose! 

If you missed some of my posts on my meals from The Fresh Diet, here are a few links, The Fresh Diet Week One - Day 3, or The Fresh Diet Week 2 Day3  but you can view them all by looking at the archive posts from October.

I want to thank the NY kitchen staff and my driver for a fantastic 2 weeks worth of meals.  I also want to thank Chef Yos for his creative genius, Mr. Duchman for his ingenuity to bring this dream of his to fruition and to Jim Gilbert for allowing me to start this journey by winning one of his many contests.  Laurie and Dianne were just great in getting me set up and on my way to enjoying TFD for these 2 weeks.  Ladies YOU ARE top notch!  Thank you.

If you haven't stopped by The Fresh Diet's Facebook Page, you really should.  Who knows, you too could win a contest or one of the random giveaways or just be inspired by all the wonderful folks there to "join in on the fun".  Oh and if you do go there - click on "LIKE" and join in.  And if you could tell Jim I sent you over ..... well all the better.  Thanks!

If you were to decide to order - if you give them this referral code K2M4T - I believe I will get credit for bringing you to "the fold" so to speak.  It's really a win-win situation.  You get great tasty food that is very diet friendly and I get credit for the referral.  Please help me extend my deliveries too.

Don't miss my giveaways for CSN Stores and Ginger's Thirty-One Gifts,  there are still some time left to enter.  And there are some really interesting things that you can get from both sites.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Now I know how they do that ...

Twins, that is.  Accountants should have more twins than others because they excel in this task ... I actually think it is one of the "first" things that you learn ... I mean how do you think we get those spreadsheets done each year so quickly???

It is just .......

See I told you ...........

The Fresh Diet - Week 2 Day 6

I was just so glad to see my The Fresh Diet buddy outside my door this morning.  I had a wonderful time this past weekend ........ and the scale showed it.  Now that did NOT make me happy but I just knew that it would be gone as soon as I got my butt back in gear and The Fresh Diet was the way to do it without any stress.  They just take all the worry and concern out of the equations.  You pick your food - gourmet at that - they create, deliver and you eat.  How much easier could that be?

Once again, I came down to make the coffee and bring in my bestest buddy, little green bag.  I really will miss this little one.

This morning breakfast was a new entree, Apple Stuffed Honey Wheat French Toast with Blueberries and Strawberry Ricotta Cheese.  For whatever reason, my Ricotta Cheese looked a little "watery" in the cup, but a little mixing/folding with a fork and it was just fine again.  This was the first time I noticed that but it didn't affect the taste or even the texture when I ate it.  The French Toast was really good, although I think they should have put a bit of cinnamon on the apples before "topping" with the other half of the bread and then baking/frying/sauteing ... whatever they did to make it so good AND healthy.

Lunch was so awesome!  I had the Classic Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken, Turkey Pastrami, Tomato, Cucumber, Romaine Lettuce and Ranch Dressing.  Now the ONLY thing I did to this before putting on a plate (one of those HUGE dinner plates I have) was cut the tomatoes in half, since I hate when you stab them and they squirt all over the place, cut the cucumbers into pieces, since some were a little big and cut the protein (chicken and pastrami) into smaller pieces so that all my fork-fulls would/could have a little of everything.  I really enjoyed this salad.  I do like Cobb Salads so it was an easy choice - but I've never had Turkey Pastrami before.  Since I don't like Turkey Bacon, I was a little concerned ..... but somehow this was perfect.  I wonder ... if I had Chef make me Turkey Bacon - would I like it ?

This afternoon, I was "Joe handyman" or would that be "Josephine handywoman"?  Anyway, I had picked up a rack to stack wood for my woodstove over the weekend, and today was the day I needed to put it together (8ft long/approx cord wood capacity) and stack some of the wood that we had cut towards the winter cold.  I decided that THIS would count as my exercise for the day - I had to move the wood that remained from last year so I could place the rack, then stacked the fresh cut wood.  I didn't realize it before, but there had to be as much left over from last year (so now it is well aged) as we had cut and split over the weekend.  I bet there is about a cord left to stack - but THAT will be tomorrow's project.  Maybe tomorrow I will put up a picture of my accomplishments (which would be almost 2 cords of wood moved and stacked - impressive I think).

For my Hors D'Oeuvre/Snack I decided to have what they noted as dessert .... Pink Poached Pear Filled with Creamy Ricotta Cheese and Honey Roasted Walnuts.  I will say I have definitely become a fan of Creamy Ricotta Cheese - I really like this, much more than I thought I did before!  The Pear was not overly sweet, and still firm enough that you had to actually bite into it and not just have it fall apart in your mouth.  It was just enough to kill the start of afternoon hunger rumblings.  I need to figure out how they did this one and what they poached it in.

Dinner was Grilled Chicken Breast with Roasted Tomato Alfredo Sauce with Chipotle Whipped Cauliflower Puree and Grilled Italian Eggplant.  Again when I opened the container, it seemed a little "watery", but I "held everything together" and poured out the excess water.  I did notice when I plated my meal, that I am back to being "color challenged" with my meal choices.  I will have to work on that.  That being said, this meal was really very tasty.  The chicken was very tender (there HAS to be a trade secret there) and the Cauliflower Puree had just the right amount of "heat".  The Eggplant, although tasty, was a little more "mushy" than I have had with other vegetables while eating the fresh diet way, but we won't hold that against this meal.

Dessert today was Sugar-Free Boston Cream Pie.  Now I said this before and I'm going to say it again - there is NO WAY that anyone could tell that this was sugar free by just eating this.  If I didn't know it was sugar free I never would have guessed.  The pastry chef in the NY kitchen could have a home at my home if he/she would cook for my and my family every day.

Oh heck, we would take any of the chef's if they would cook for us -- or teach me how to cook this way everyday!  I love to cook, but I have to say, I have never hit a home run like these entrees - consistently - meal after meal for the last almost 2 weeks.  I really need for Chef Yos dishes on future recipe project this to come true and have a cookbook/recipe book to be able to work from.  I haven't shared my meals with my husband (although I'm sure he would benefit from these) because if he hears "diet" he turns his nose up and frowns, oh and he doesn't do veggies.  But I bet if I could do these for him - he would forget about "diet" anything and just enjoy.  Shhhh I know, it will be a secret.  So please Chef, please .... I could be your guinea pig and see if your project is easy to follow for the "everyday" person.  I really need something since I only have 1 day left on my order. 

If you were to decide to order - if you give them this referral code K2M4T - I believe I will get credit for bringing you to "the fold" so to speak.  It's really a win-win situation.  You get great tasty food that is very diet friendly and I get credit for the referral.  Please help me extend my deliveries too.

Don't miss my giveaways for CSN Stores and Ginger's Thirty-One Gifts,  there are still some time left to enter.  And there are some really interesting things that you can get from both sites.

Monday, October 25, 2010


We all need to be treated with Kindness, it really is a need of all man-kind, but some times we need it more than others. 

Remember when you see someone on the street, that this COULD be THAT day for them.

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Mark Twain

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.

Samuel Johnson

To be thoughtful and kind only takes a few seconds
compared to the timeless hurt caused by one rude gesture.

Byron Pulsifer

When I was young, I admired clever people.
Now that I am old, I admire kind people.

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Fresh Diet - Week 2 Day 5

Friday was Day 5 of the 2nd week in this wonderful journey through The Fresh Diet that I have been on .  Today is the last day of this "calendar" week as far as my delivery is concerned.  I had opted to take the weekends off because I never know what the weekend will bring and I don't want to have to say no to lunch out with friends or dinner out with hubby because of a delivery.  I will get two more deliveries next week.

Breakfast was Fresh Fruit Salad with Mango, White Grapes, Pear, Honeydew, Strawberries with Peach Ricotta Cheese.  This was somewhat of a "repeat" meal.  I have had the fruit salad before, but I don't believe it was all the same fruit and definitely not the Ricotta Cheese combo.  As in other pictures, I added the cinnamon on top of the Ricotta Cheese - but it is the only thing I've added to my meals.  I really need to find out where they get their fruit - every day I've had fruit it has been very fresh and tasty, unlike most of the fruit I have gotten around my supermarkets.

Lunch was Fresh Mozzarella Wrap with Baby Spinach, Roasted Bell Peppers and Basil Pesto on Sun Dried Tomato Tortilla.  This was a very tasty meal.  However, I would have like it to have had more Baby Spinach in the wrap.  I know, I know it sounds funny someone ASKING for MORE vegetable in a dish - that's usually the "filler" of a dish.  But it really would have put this right over the top.  The ratio of cheese to spinach was just a little off.

Hors D'oeuvre was Peanut Butter Chip Cheese Cake.  Would you look at this piece of Cheese Cake - that spot above the crust in the middle of the slice really is peanut butter chips and alot of them!  Excellent!  My daughter looked at it and said that it really looked good - and then she looked at me and asked "How is it that you get to eat that?  Aren't you still eating The Fresh Diet?"  When I told her that is where this came from "Whoa cool" and "Isn't that your dessert?" were the next things out of her mouth.  Guess I'm going to be hiding the rest of my desserts and snacks from her ......

Dinner was Chicken Cordon Blue with Ham & Swiss Cheese with Nine Grain Pilaf and Roasted Poblano Peppers.  When I was heating this one up I thought "Cordon Blue was suppose to be STUFFED with ham and swiss, looks like just chicken".  Well when it was heated through and cut in half ... I found the ham and cheese.  Really was a nice light blend that didn't take over everything else.  The Pilaf was really different, I guess because of the different grains that made it up, but I did enjoy it.  The Roasted Poblano Peppers, were cut into thin strips.  I thought roasting would have made them a bit milder ...... I was wrong!  These little strips of pepper were so hot, just a little tiny piece was enough to set your mouth on fire.   I've grown found of hot/spicy but these were so over the top that I couldn't eat them.  Maybe that was the way they guarantee you drink LOTS of water........ I'm kidding, but these were too hot.

Dessert was Sugar Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Maraschino Cherries and Pecans.  Now this one was so darned big I could have gone into carb shock!  Seriously, in comparison with the size of the cheese cake slices, this was enormous.  It also must have been Use Up the Pecans Day at the NY kitchen.  I can't say that I've ever had Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Pecans ... but maybe I've just been sheltered.  But whatever it is - I was very impressed with this dessert.  If I didn't know it was Sugar Free I wouldn't have believed it.  Great taste, texture and worth every bite - good thing its just mine.  Ok if you were here we could have shared - it really was pretty darned big but perhaps you can't tell from the picture, I was trying to show all the nuts and such.

If you were to decide to order - if you give them this referral code K2M4T - I believe I will get credit for bringing you to "the fold" so to speak.  It's really a win-win situation.  You get great food that is very diet friendly and I get credit for the referral.

Don't miss my giveaways for CSN Stores and Ginger's Thirty-One Gifts ...... scroll down and enter, you won't regret it.

Welcome to a Wonderful Day

If you are here from Simply Stacie's blog feature day - HI and thanks for stopping by.
If you are here because you have been here before and love me - HI!  Love you too.

I have to say, I am pretty excited about being a featured blog today.  I hope you take the time to look around, have coffee with me and enjoy.

Before I hit you with a few little "inspirational gems" that I have found just for today - make sure you read to the end so you don't miss out on my giveaways!  Some great opportunities are there.

I have been having a wonderful time reviewing the meals by The Fresh Diet.  I'm currently on day 4 of my second week.  Make sure you check the post out, complete with pictures of the "real" food not by a professional photographer or food stylist - just me.   But I do think I've done a pretty good job of it.

I hope you didn't miss this little "gem".  We ALL need this one.  I don't know of one woman that hasn't said, at one time or another, that they are fat and need to lose weight.  Here's "why women gain weight" so you too can appreciate why we have this problem.

Now for my loved quotes for the day.

If you have built castles in the air, 
your work need not be lost; 
that is where they should be.
Now put foundations under them.

Henry David Thoreau

To find what you seek in the road of life,
the best proverb of all is that which says:
"Leave no stone unturned."

Edward Bulwer Lytton

“Yesterday is history. 
Tomorrow is a mystery… 
Today is a gift.”
Eleanor Roosevelt 

Thirty one gifts and CSN Review and Giveaway are two giveaway's that I am currently holding.  So if you are into giveaways/contests or are "feeling lucky" make sure you stop on over and check those out too.  Both of these end late next week, so don't miss out.

And have you seen this giveaway?  wearever cookware giveaway It's not mine, but its still a good one.  It does end today - so hurry on over and join in there too.  I'm in, cause you can NEVER have enough pots and pans that are in "good" shape.  Yes, hanging my head in shame since some of my pans are a little "worse for wear".

Thanks for coming by and checking me out.  Sure hope to see you back again real soon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thought for today - Oct 22nd 2010

 All of today's quotes come from Unknown Authors.  Some of these are so good I would be shouting from the rooftops if "I" was the Author! 

What do you think?

We have the power to shrink our dreams to fit reality 
or the power to stretch our reality to fit out dreams. 

Author Unknown

Never be afraid to try something new. 

Author Unknown

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. 

Author Unknown

Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, 
even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it. 

Author Unknown  

Macho crap?

The Fresh Diet - Week 2 Day 4

Thursday was Day 4 of this journey of  The Fresh Diet that has made me think differently about food and food choices. 

I really think that when I don't see my little buddy outside my door when I come down to make the coffee and know that it will have stopped for awhile, I will definitely be sad.

Yesterday was a very high maintenance day for me - I was in the hospital with my girl friend (she is going to be fine thank you) so things were not as "laid back" as they have been.  I almost called to postpone my day because I didn't know where I would be when or even if I would have time for meals when she asked me to take her earlier in the week.  But to be honest, having it here made it so much easier for me - I got to eat good food without stressing over that too.  Thinking back over the day, it made me remember that you MUST take each day as the gift it was intended to be.

Breakfast was Honey Roasted Granola with Fresh Berries and Cherry Yogurt.  I really thought this was NOT the breakfast for me when I saw it.  But I figured I could just supplement or eat lunch early if I had to (somehow).  I have to say the yogurt was very good - I could become a cherry yogurt convert.  There was quite a bit of granola when I put it in my dish.  I wonder if I could figure out how to make this at home?

Lunch was BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich on Whole Bun with Sauteed Mushrooms.  Don't look too close at the bun - I put it in the toaster while I heated my pork and ran out to my car and "over toasted" it a bit.  I want to say this is a definite home run!  I don't know how you do it Chef, but even heated in the microwave this one rocked!  Can't even image how this would be if I had it right after your team finished cooking it.

Hors D'Oeuvre today was the Buffalo Style Chicken Strips with Roasted Pearl Onions.  Now I know I had gotten this before, but I thought it was just chicken strips the last time without any Buffalo "sauce" so I wanted to give it another chance.  Nope no Buffalo sauce this time either so I guess the NY kitchen doesn't do Buffalo.  Really was still a good dish - but if I was to do this again I would have some hot sauce on hand for when I want Buffalo.

Dinner was Veal Cutlets with Port Mushroom Marsala Sauce with Brown Rice with Pecans & Scallions and Sauteed Button Mushrooms.  I seem to pick a lot of mushroom items (think maybe nobody here likes mushrooms but me?) when they are available.  This one pleasantly surprised me.  The veal cutlet was HUGE, I had to cut it in half to neatly put it on the plate.  And very tender, which can be tricky since if you over do it, it becomes shoe leather.  This was perfect.  I really enjoyed the Brown Rice, but if you don't like Pecans you definitely do not want this side - I had a ton of pecan pieces.

Dessert was Mixed Fresh Berries with Creamy Ricotta Cheese Dip.  I added the cinnamon that is on top - just because I like cinnamon.  I really think that having this after dinner was perfect.  The Ricotta was just perfect over the berries and not heavy.  It was a very nice light dessert that would have been perfect with a nice cup of coffee.  I could see serving this after a holiday meal instead of some heavy pie or cake. 

This was a very trying day for me and having my meals already prepared, already "figured out" was a blessing.  I didn't have to cook, I didn't have to shop, I didn't have to figure out calories, protein, carbs, fats, any of those things that you do if you are "on a diet" because of this fantastic plan.

I have to say this was one of the best things to have happened to me in a long time.  Thank you Fresh Diet, Thank you Chef Yos and your crew for expanding my palate and my horizons on the food scene. 

If you haven't been keeping up and want to know how this all started fresh diet day 1 or just click on "the fresh diet" listings over on the archive list for October and you can jump from day to day and see how this journey has been going.  I am loving this AND I am losing without the usual "agony" of a diet.

Don't miss my giveaways for CSN Stores and Ginger's Thirty-One Gifts ...... scroll down and enter, you won't regret it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Fresh Diet - Week 2 Day 3

Wednesday was the 3rd day of my 2nd week of eating The Fresh Diet way.  I can not say this enough - I am really very impressed with the food.  Do I love everything I have had these past 2 weeks - no, but do you love everything that you eat everyday?  Do you love everything you order at a restaurant every time you eat a meal?  Enough said.

Once again my little buddy was waiting for me when I came down to make the coffee.  The Tuesday night I was late getting my bag out by the door (darn Yankees anyway) so there was no bag for my driver to pick up but he/she left my meals anyway - another member of the "family" of bags.  They are good about that.  I just had to leave both bags out Wednesday night.

Breakfast was Oregano, Zucchini & Mozzarella Cheese Quiche with Fresh Pineapple.
This had a very interesting flavor, probably because of the Oregano, but the combination was very good.  I am not a huge fan of zucchini (unless of course it is in zucchini bread - hint hint chef) so I was a little skeptical about this.  I will definitely try doing this at home.  I bet if I cut the zucchini even smaller, almost like a shred, even my picky eaters here would eat this one.

Lunch was Turkey Souvlaki on Whole Wheat Pita with Minted Yogurt Sauce and Celery Sticks.  Now I don't think I have ever had Souvlaki before and I KNOW I've never had minted yogurt sauce.  I did like this one - even though I kept looking at the sauce with a little trepidation.  The turkey was a bit like a tuna salad but you could definitely tell that it was turkey and not tuna.  I wonder if I could do this with some leftover roasted turkey and my trusty Vita-Mix?

My Hors D'Oeuvre today was so cute.  Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Whole Wheat Bruschetta.  This one was popped into the toaster oven on broil.  I should have left it in there a little bit longer - so that it was a little "crisper on the bottom" and a little more "bubbly and browned" on the top.  I am either going to find this Whole Wheat bread (kind of like a bagette) or I WILL figure out how to make it at home.  I mean what's a bread machine for if you can't do what you want!  This was really good.

Dinner was Pan Seared Tofu with Citrus Chipotle Sauce with Green Split Pea Puree and Roasted Yellow Squash.  I have definitely added color to my world with this one!  I have never had Tofu like this before so I really didn't know what to expect, and to be honest I was a little afraid of this one.  I did this in the toaster oven too - thinking it would make it a bit "crisp" as opposed to possibly "mushy" from the microwave.  It didn't really get crisp, but it was different.  It really needed either the sauce or the veggies to give it a real "flavor" since by itself it was a bit bland.  Now the Chipotle Sauce was really really spicy!  I've started to really enjoy spicy but holy moly this one was hot.  The Green Split Pea Puree was really good - not without texture as I was afraid when I read puree.  There were just enough "whole" peas to add a nice mouth feel so it wasn't like "baby food" in its consistency.  Roasted Yellow Squash could become a new favorite.

Dessert was Sugar Free Chocolate Cupcake with Mocha Hazelnut Cream Cheese Frosting.  Who said sugar free had to taste bad?  Whoever it was never had one of these babies!  I had made a chocolate bundt cake for the family (yes I am cooking and baking for them and not feeling the least bit deprived) that was cooling on a rack in the kitchen - but it didn't phase me in the least since my cupcake was divine!  It is a good thing that there was only one here in the house though, or I might have NEEDED to have another one.

Today I think I succeeded in having different things for every meal.  I don't believe I have had any of these items during my days with The Fresh Diet nor are they things that I have made at home.  My take for the day .... definitely 2 thumbs UP.

If you missed week 2-day 2 you should check it out, some interesting things there.  But if you haven't been keeping up and want to know how this all started fresh diet day 1 or just click on "the fresh diet" listings over on the archive list for October and you can jump from day to day and see how this journey has been going.  It really has been a ton of fun AND I am losing lbs without the usual "agony" of a diet.

Don't miss my giveaways for CSN Stores and Ginger's Thirty-One Gifts ...... scroll down and enter, you won't regret it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thirty-One Gifts

Are you looking for something special/unique for someone that has everything?  Do you have a child that is ALWAYS losing her belongings?  How about some help with gifts for the upcoming holidays?

Well then, I think you need to check out my friend Ginger's great website Thirty-One Gifts.  She became a consultant in April, and from all accounts is having the time of her life making people happy!  And if you go to Gingers ThirtyOne-Gifts  (this will take you to her Facebook page) she will keep you informed as to upcoming events, open houses and parties.

When I clicked on "view our catalog",  you have an option for the gift guide or fall catalog.  Of course I opened the Gift Guide first.  Which was a fantastic pdf file of gifts - 16 pages of options.  If you are at a loss as to what to get someone for the holidays - THIS is where you need to go.  There are everyday things like Luggage Tags and Flat Iron Cases to Manicure Kits for $20 or less.  Or you could go with a tote bag or organizing wallet or skirt purse for $48 or less.  The skirt purse looks so interesting - because you can change your purse without having to take everything out of one and into another.  Gotta be a time saver right?  And you won't be wondering if everything made it back into your purse.

And they have the cutest Teddy Bear and Blanket set .... just perfect for those pre-school aged kids to take to daycare - bet there wouldn't be any complaints about naptime!  Any grandmom's out there will just LOVE this one.

But if you wanted an even bigger selection, 40 pages of options, then the Fall catalog is where you want to start.  If you liked that skirt purse I noted above ........ this book has even more options for skirts (that starts at page 12).  Need some ideas for the weekend traveler?  Check out page 18.  Or if your kids are into sports, like mine were, you always have to corral the gear.  How about an Organizing Utility Tote - the large is just $22.

And if there is a need for school items (lets face it school has been in session for at least 2 months now) that have gone "missing" they have a great selection of backpacks and sacs and lunch totes.... and you can have them embroidered with name/initials/whatever.

Please note that at least 90% of the products available can also be personalized.  So not only can you get to give something that isn't offered everyplace you turn, you can make it "one of a kind" with initials, names, etc.

They also offer monthly specials each month. For the month of October, its the Organizing Utility Tote for just $5 with an additional purchase of $31.  And if you want to be a hostess ..... you get additional incentives and discounts.  It's a win-win proposition - your friends, family, associates get great personalized gifts to give and you get discounts to be able to do the same for your gifts.

Now, we get down to the nitty gritty of this post.  Its a giveaway of course!  We will be giving away a $50 gift certificate to one lucky reader.  Make sure I have your email address so I can notify the winner.  Post separately for each entry.

This contest is, unfortunately, only open to US readers, as the company only ships to US.  Now, if I find out that they ship out of the states, I will be sure to let you know ASAP.

First entry - go to Ginger's site and tell me one item you would love to try and why.
Second entry - follow me
Third entry - blog about it and link it back here.  Then comment here with the post link.
Fourth entry - Send your friends and make sure they tell me who sent them and you both get an entry.
Fifth entry - Place an order with Ginger for at least $20 (look for my name under "My Events" on her site and mark direct ship) before shipping charges and then come back and tell me about it.  Once confirmed - you get another entry.
Sixth entry - Go to  Gingers ThirtyOne-Gifts (her Facebook page) and follow her too.  Then come back here and tell me.

This giveaway will be open until Midnight Friday October 29th so lets get clicking!  There are so many things that you can chose from - its a wonderful opportunity and a great place to pick up things for the upcoming holidays!

Why Women Gain Weight

With time, women gain weight because we accumulate so much information and
wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, 

it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. 
So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,
Good grief, look how smart I am!

Must be where the term 'Smart Ass' came from!

The Fresh Diet - Week 2 Day 2

Tuesday was Day 2 of week 2 on my incredible journey through The Fresh Diet meals.  I think I did a good job picking totally different things for today's meals.  Yes I get to pick my own meals, this is such an incredible "diet".  You truly CAN eat well and still lose weight - I'm proving that with these 2 weeks, and NOT feel deprived or eat boring meals.

My morning started the way my mornings always start - coming down to make the coffee.  I know you thought I was going to say "Make the doughnuts" ... didn't you, go ahead admit it - that thought was right there on the tip of your tongue!  When I looked out my door there was my buddy - my little green buddy.  I really missed seeing him outside my door when I wasn't getting a delivery.  Just seeing him sitting there tells you that something GOOD will be going on at meal time.

Breakfast today was Cinnamon Swirl Multi-Grain French Toast with Fresh Apples and Blackberry Ricotta Cheese.  I put the toast triangles in the toaster oven (I really hate how bread gets in the microwave)  to warm and then prepared my plate while the coffee started to drip.  Of course my toast was done before the coffee.   As you can see, I put the mixed ricotta on top of the triangles so I could have some with both the apple slices and the toast.  Again I thought, I don't know, only 1 toast sliced in half?  How is that going to fill me up?  I don't know why I doubted.  This was really pretty good (could have been a little sweeter) especially with the Ricotta Cheese.  I loved the crisp apples (granny smith although not noted as such), even pre-cut there was not a brown spot to be found - and you KNOW how fast apples turn after being cut.

In between breakfast and lunch, I broke out the Zumba dvd's I just got last week or so.  I figured since I had some time - I had better get some kind of "real" exercise in today since yesterday was pretty much a bust in that department.  This was so much fun.  So if you have the chance to try it out - do it.  

Lunch was Hearty Lentil, Turkey Sausage and Brown Rice Soup.  Now I know the picture isn't worthy of this meal, but I tried.  Maybe I'll use this as the push to take some Photography courses so I can do better.  I put it in a nice French Onion Crock and it literally filled the bowl!  The flavor of the broth was very light but the rice and lentils still had a nice texture.  I'm always afraid that there will be this "mush" in the bowl.  But this was good - still having a "al dente" feel.  Now I am not really a huge fan of Turkey Sausage (or bacon for that matter) but this was nice.  Not sure if it was just because of how the sausage was made, or in conjunction with the rest of the soup ingredients - but this was really very good.  But I was a bit concerned, since I knew I had to do some running this afternoon, that it wouldn't hold me over.  Wrong again!

The Hors D'Oeuvre that I chose for today was Charred Lamb Loin on Whole Wheat Crostini with Over Roasted Tomato.  I ordered this even though I am not a huge fan of Lamb.  The Crostini was more like those cute little hors d'oeuvre breads that you can get in the supermarket, only in a dark rye or wheat, and the Tomatoes were not roasted, they were cherry tomatoes!  But all things considered this was a surprisingly tasty dish.  Just enough to get you over that "hungry but not" feeling that usually hits sometime around 4.

Dinner tonight was Stuffed Chicken Asiago & Tarragon with Whole Wheat Linguine Pasta and Honey Glazed Beets.  I wasn't all that impressed with this meal.  Not that there was anything wrong with it - but the chicken, although very tender was nothing exciting, I couldn't taste Asiago or Tarragon that was to be the "stuffing".  The beets, although they added a HUGE hit of color on my plate, were nothing more than what you would find on a salad bar, except whole instead of sliced and no glaze to be tasted.  I like beets, but as I said these were not notable.  The Linguine, even whole wheat, was nice - I guess I haven't cleansed my palate of needing salt, because I thought it could have used just a little bit of salt in the water that cooked it.  But it really may just be me.

Dessert was Mango Vanilla Pudding.  Now this will sound really strange, but this was so darned good and creamy, I was sorry that my pudding was gone when I had eaten it all.  See I told you it was strange - to be lusting over pudding ....... 

Now have you checked out the FaceBook page for The Fresh Diet?  They have contests all the time (that's how I got to have my first week), random days given away "Just Because" and special offers.  Right now they are having a great special but it only goes until Thursday midnight, Oct 21st and you have to call (no they won't try to sell you more than you want)

SPECIAL OFFER, get up to 2 weeks Free! Get gourmet meals delivered to your home daily with these tiered specials...

31 Days of The Fresh Diet just $34.99 (Reg. $44.99) Use promo code N101834
• Order 62 Days: $34.99 and get ONE FREE WEEK! Use promo code N101862
• Order 93 Days: $34.99 and Get TWO FREE WEEKS! (BEST DEAL!)...
Use promo code N101893 CALL IN ORDERS ONLY, call 1-866-373-7450 Expires 10/21/10 at midnight.

If you do decide to order - if you give them this referral code K2M4T - I will get credit for bringing you to "the fold" so to speak.  It's really a win-win situation.  You get great food and a discount and I get credit for the referral.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CSN Review and Giveaway

I was recently contacted by CSN to do a review of their site and products.  In exchange for my review I will receive a gift certificate that I can use at any of their over 200 sites, not a bad deal.  But here's were you come in..... That $55 gift certificate will go to one lucky reader.

We recently were looking at barstools because the ones we will have in our Florida condo are just a little worn and could use a little freshening up.  One of the things I really liked was the HUGE selection, but of course that makes it that much more difficult to decide.  Do I want one with a back or without?  Do I want one that is leather or wood?  Modern or Commercial looking?  They have them all and then some.  See what I mean, a huge selection.  I am looking at South Sea Rattan because it is for a Florida Condo.  What do you think?  Something else you see that might work better?

One of the other things I have noticed about CSN Stores  is the great variety of things that are offered.  Pretty much everything and anything for your home, your family and kids, pets, office or school.  I can't tell you how much fun I had "walking" through their departments.

Just look at the kitchen area.  I absolutely LOVE my Rival crock pot especially in the fall/winter.  I use this at least once a week, even if its just on a leftover rotisserie chicken - which makes the BEST pulled chicken bbq sandwiches by the way ........ and I don't have to do anything! 

If you've been reading my blog this past summer, you know how much I LOVE my Vita-Mix, or you can check it out here.   Well guess who else has Vita-Mix  products?  You guessed it!  And this isn't the only one they carry.  So if you are interested ......

But if none of this is what you are looking for, or you're not a homebody, perhaps luggage is more to your liking.  Especially if you are a traveler, because the travel industry seems to be really hard on your luggage.

Whatever you are looking for, I am pretty confident that you will find it at CSN Stores.

Now for the really fun part.  Here's where you get to win the $55 gift certificate from CSN Stores.  To make it just a little bit easier for me - please comment separately for each entry. Make sure I have your email address (or its visible on your blog) so that I can contact you as the winner.

Oh and this opportunity is available for those in the US and Canada, since that is where CSN Stores ships.

First Entry - visit  and post a comment here with what you would use your certificate for.
Second Entry -   Follow me
Third Entry - Blog about this giveaway and post link here.
Fourth Entry - Send friends here, have them tell me you sent them and you both get an entry.

Now we can't keep this one open forever, so you need to get moving.  The closing date of this giveaway is Midnight, October 30th.  Funny I pick mischief night isn't it?  Ok lets get looking, there are LOTS of things you can chose from.

The Fresh Diet - Week 2 Day 1

If you have been following my travels through the fresh diet meals, (if not why not?, ok you can check out the first week starting Fresh Diet - Day 1) you know that I have been able to continue for another week.  This week I am going to add back in a little "regular" exercise and see if that makes this journey even better.  Better being seeing what the scale says, but I have to admit the first week with NO exercise was impressive to me.  I also tried to pick items I didn't pick last week - maybe not for every meal, but enough to say I have tried to vary my entrees so as to not get bored with eating.  I know that sounds really silly, but eating the same thing day in and day out leads to MAJOR cheating and MAJOR weight GAIN and THAT is definitely NOT what I am looking for.

I came down in the morning to see my friend waiting for me again outside my kitchen door.  It is so nice to see him again.  I brought him in, made the coffee and broke open the plastic tie on the zipper of the bag.  Everything is kept very cold with the ice packs - so I know I don't have to hurry, but it's always nice to see what I picked.  I guess it's a "visual" thing with me.

Breakfast this morning was VERY early as I needed to be at the car dealer to have my baby's horn fixed (very strange not having a horn in one's car) by 7:30.  Route 78 is a bear at that time of day - why I agreed to that time is beyond me.  Breakfast this morning was Creamy Banana Nut Oatmeal.  Now this was really very filling, very thick.  At first all I added was a little cinnamon, just because I really like cinnamon with oatmeal.  After I heated it and put my spoon into it, I realized just how thick it was, so I added just a little milk (maybe a tablespoon or so) to make it a little more creamy.  This is a perfect breakfast item.  It is sweet without being "kid cereal" sweet, and very very tasty.

I was a little concerned that I would be hungry either while waiting for my car, or during all the running I had to do today, but onward we went.

Lunch was the Santa Fe Style Wrap with Pepper-Jack Cheese.  There were 2 things wrong with this entree.  First being - I needed a fork because I made a mess ... it was that full.  The second - I ate it all and I wanted more - it was that good.  It really is getting difficult to decide which of the lunch entrees I've had has been the best - If I had to rank them, I would have quite a few 1sts and 2nds.

This afternoon we (Jenn and I) both had dentist appointments - so we had to sit in the dreaded chair!  As I was sitting in the chair at almost 4 I realized that I hadn't had time for my "afternoon snack" or hors d'oeuvre  and I really should have been starving - in the past I would have been.  But I was still very comfortable, with no hunger pains in sight, no rumblings of my stomach.  Tells me breakfast and lunch were right on today.

My afternoon snack should have been Sugar Free Minted Cheesecake Bar with Chocolate Drizzle.  But as I said, I was in the dentists chair at 4, so we didn't get to eat this - just wanted to show you what I COULD have had.  I know you're not suppose to skip meals, but I just didn't want to "force" eating.  I will put this in the freezer for this weekend when again I am taking the "weekend off".

In the back of my mind, when I was picking my dinner for tonight, I must have remembered the dental appointment, since I picked "softer" entree items and sides.  Dinner was Fillet of Tilapia with Traditional Red Mole Sauce with Curried Cauliflower Mash and Exotic Mushroom Ragout.   As I said this was a softer meal but by no means bland.  I really liked this even better than when I had another Tilapia entree on day 2  I think it had to do with the Mole Sauce and the Mushrooms, but I don't know for sure.  I will say that this combination is a definite keeper.

Dessert for today was Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with Creamy Vanilla Ricotta Cheese.  Chocolate and Strawberries .... what could be better?  I like the taste of Ricotta Cheese when mixed to make a dessert, but this needed something, maybe a little more vanilla or a little strawberry puree, or a little chocolate?  Now don't get me wrong it was good but just needed a little push to get it over the top.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. 

If you would like to order your own buddy and you are in their delivery area, you can call The Fresh Diet helpful staff at 866-373-7450 and they can get you started.  If you also give them my "referral code"  K2M4T, then I think we both win.  You get great meals and I get credit for a referral - think of it as a win-win situation.  If you could, let me know if you do so we can share our findings/tastings as well as our good fortunes.

UPDATE:  Just posted a GREAT deal, but it is only good until Midnight Thursday Oct 21st!
31 Days of The Fresh Diet just $34.99 (Reg. $44.99) Use promo code N101834
• Order 62 Days: $34.99 and get ONE FREE WEEK! Use promo code N101862
• Order 93 Days: $34.99 and Get TWO FREE WEEKS! (BEST DEAL!) Use promo code... N101893 CALL IN ORDERS ONLY, call 1-866-373-7450 Expires 10/21/10 at midnight.