Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cookies to change your life

Let's get real for a second.

Sometimes you need a cookie. But not some crappy dry cookie. You need that perfect cookie that's a delicate mix of salty and sweet.

We have found that cookie.

We. Found. THE. Cookie.

It's here. That's the holy grail of cookie recipes. The best part? It's a recipe for cookies for 2. As in we don't have 5 dozen cookies laying around (CURSES!), and we could indulge in moderation.

Granted, I wanted to smack my husband's plate out of his hands and eat his cookies off the floor, but whatever…

Oh you like them cookies??
Yeah, OK, I was giving him the side eye. Or at least his cookies. And that's not some shady euphemism, this is a family blog! A family blog that's really passionate about cookies, anyway...


So, I'm really proud of us that we even sought out a recipe for cookies for only 2. You know, instead of the typical 2-5 dozen. Hello self-control! I've made a new policy that we can't keep sweet stuff in the house. Cakes, cookies, ice cream… None of it. If it's around. I will destroy it.

Seriously, this is the story of my life. 
It's for the best interest of everyone around that we don't keep it in the house. There's stuff to make things like the Holy Grail of Cookies, but that requires effort, and thankfully I'm not always into effort-making when it comes to junk food. But Heaven help me if it's readily available…

Anyway. I succeeded in moderation with the most amazing cookies I've ever had, annnd I found the recipe to end all cookie recipes.

Bully for me!

xo
A Redhead

Friday, January 16, 2015

Let's talk about something different...

So there are 2 big things on my mind these days: money. puppies.

Haaa you thought I was going to say something about babies, didn't you?

Not for awhile, my friends. 
So anyway. The Bearded Wonder has recently gotten himself a shiny new job, but prior to that we were saying "muchos gracias" to uncle Sam for unemployment benefits. Suffice to say, money has been a constant thought on our minds for 6-ish months. I started reading this blog, Budgets Are Sexy, and I have to tell you, it's cracking me up. It's real, practical advice, and the guy calls himself J Money. He basically teaches you how to make it rain by saving money and doing side hustles (see? I'm picking up his slang already. Holler. or something.)


I've decided to pick up my own side hustle, and am in the process of getting a part-time gig with Lane Bryant. I love that store. They have fleece lined leggings for my booty, and super cute dresses that make me sashay like RuPaul. I won't work too many hours, but it should be enough to reasonably update my wardrobe (you know, replacing the 6 year old pencil skirt that's stretched out and can't be worn in public anymore…), but then also use for actual fun money (like plane tickets for my cousin's super sweet wedding). That way we don't have to use our actual salaries for stuff like this, and I'll have fun doing it. I worked for them in college, and I've mastered the art of lovingly giving opinions to total strangers. Boom.

ALSO. I just lowered our cell phone bills. Woot wooooot! Prior to the super enthusiastic woman on Verizon live chat, we were paying $134. Post super enthusiastic woman on Verizon live chat, I scored and extra gb of data on my line (probably because they pity me with my poor broken phone), and $30 off our bill every month. It's still expensive for cell phones, but shoot- $30 month = $360 for the year. I'm not mad at it.

I never could eat Chiclets again after this movie...
Next: puppies.

Please tell me you've all met Theo+Beau at some point in your internet travels. Put down your coffee, click that link, and then come back. Not a second sooner! They are quite possibly the cutest pair the world has ever seen. I can't count the amount of times I've seen that link float around on Facebook, or received emails including a picture and a comment to the effect of "D'aawww!"

If this doesn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, then you need to go to church.
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting my friend's puppies a whole 3 days after she got them. They were tiny, tiny little things, and I actually picked one up in each hand, and jokingly rubbed them on my face. Kinda weird, but I have no regrets. Plus the pictures are hilarious (and on my husband's phone so you can't see them. =P ) Just to be snuggled up with puppies? Ugh, this kid is basically living my dream. Every. Day.

My feels! My feels!!
So all this to say: Jessica Shyba, creator of that cute little boy and rescuer of that cute little pup, is coming out with a book. A book that's SO cute, the world just may explode and flowers may rain down in all war-affected areas of this world. It's coming out February 3rd, and I'm going to pre-order it so fast, Amazon won't know what hit 'em.

Check it out here, because really it's the perfect gift for anyone who loves babies, puppies, unspeakable joy, and world peace (re: flowers). Or if you think someone is really cranky, send 'em a copy and it should melt the cockles of their heart quite nicely, and then you'll have a new friend. You're welcome, world.

xo
A Redhead

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It's happened...

I've changed the look of the blog again. I know, I know, I went through a phase last year where I changed it regularly, but I think I really like this one and I think it's going to stick for a minute! =)

New year, new blog look. Sounds good, right?

Sorry there's been nothing but radio static as of late, but I've been mulling over revamping the blog… I know it started out as a tool in accountability with eating and exercising, but honestly, it's so up and down. I mean if you're a fat kid trying to lose weight or tone up or whatever, it's generally pretty up and down. But as I've mentioned before, if there's nothing happening on the blog, then there's probably not much happening with the food/exercise.

I've been thinking of expanding the blog to be about any and every thing happening in our lives, but would anyone really read it? Then again I didn't expect people to read this blog, so who knows! =)

I had started that 90-day thing with some friends, and it was officially up at the start of the new year. Admittedly some of my resolve started to fail around Christmas time… I don't think I'm back to where I was when I started it, but I've definitely had more sugar as of late. That should probably stop- my craving for sweet nonsense is getting higher again. I don't know why I do this to myself, I know that I always feel infinitely better when I cut that crap out.

Granted, my sugar consumption is still less than it's been in months, but it's still higher than it was when I swore I'd cut it out. I'm going to try to make some smoothies this week to see if that will satisfy "The Craving". I'm a frozen fruit, banana, water, chia seed kinda girl- nothing fancy or ridiculous to pack in the calories.

Anyway, how's everyone else doing? Set any resolutions for the new year? The only resolution I've set and kept was made ~5 years ago and it was "Don't make resolutions". =) As usual I'll keep plugging away at trying to exercise, meal plan, and decorate my house with a tiny, tiny budget.

xo
A Redhead

P.S. - I pondered running again the other day, and then I thought of this:

The struggle is real.

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Congratulations…?? For what…?"

As my sweet Bearded Wonder is celebrating the week before my birthday, "counting down" if you will, we went to National Harbor since it's kind of "our spot". We had our first date there, he considered proposing there, we've had swing dance events there… It's been a pretty special place in our lives together.

So imagine my surprise when some random stranger almost managed to completely ruin our date night tonight.

We walked into this cute gourmet kitchen store that had food samples, kitschy dishes, fancy jams, etc. One sales associate was at the front of the store and greeted us, and we went about sampling the various spreads, oohing and ahhing over the different flavors.

We meandered up front, and the bright-haired girl looks at us with doe eyes and says "Congratulaaations!"

She had "aww there's a baby" face. I knew what the "congratulations" meant, but we both responded with "…For what??"

Her doe eyes oblivious, she responded with "You're having a baaaby!". 

Uh.



Who? Us? Us who are super not pregnant and not intending to be pregnant for quite some time?


"OH! NO. No. No no no. I just like to eat a lot of food <insert awkward belly rub here>."

She mumbled something awkwardly, and I have a vague recollection of saying "Do I look pregnant??", but I tried to keep my calm and just walked away to some random display of stuff. My heart was crushed. My self-esteem was deflated. The 7 pounds I've lost in the last few weeks felt like a heavy weight lodged in my stomach.

She tried to ask us a question a few minutes later about living in the area, and as the blood was still rushing to my ears, I kept walking and ignored her. Mature? Meh. But for goodness sake, there is a code amongst women to never say something about pregnancy unless she is crowning.


We made friends with some girls at a tea shop, and when I told them the story, one said "THAT'S AGAINST THE WOMAN CODE!"

See? Total stranger. She gets it. (Granted we're now besties. She gave us free tea that's changed my life.)

You can guess which one is me and which is The Offender.
Well, I cried a little on the sidewalk, I won't lie. Beardy was really sweet and understanding and shook his fist in faux-rage in the direction of the store we had been in. He prayed with me while I cried, which meant a lot.

We walked around Charming Charlie (which is full of mirrors), and I found myself checking out my winter geared self (it was cold!). I didn't look pregnant. I'm still not a small girl, but I do not look pregnant. I will say, dancing around with new friends and my husband in the tea store gave me the boost I needed, and here we are.

Emotionally, I'm somewhere in here:




So that's that. My pride's still a little sore, but nothing some of our tasty new Toasted Almond tea and snuggles with my hubby and pup can't cure. 

xo
A Redhead

Monday, November 3, 2014

Of protein shakes and cupcakes

I've had a realization the last couple of weeks or so.

I hate TurboFire.

Not like in a "Bleehhh I don't want to work out" kind of way.

Oooo girl, check out that five head. Bangs can't hide that! 
But more in a "GYAH THIS IS SO OBNOXIOUS I CAN'T TAKE HER SERIOUSLY WHEN SHE'S NOT SWEATING!!!" kind of way.


We started one of the DVDs tonight, and I swear we did the same stupid sequence for a solid 4 minutes. 4 minutes.


So we switched to the Tone 30 DVD, and while I still don't understand how the instructor had a perfectly teased blowout and didn't seem to sweat, I hated it substantially less. We used resistance bands  and sweated like fools. I grunted. I yelled. She said "No frowning, you should be smiling!" and I yelled "I WILL NEVER SMILE!" My arms are trembling. My glutes are on fire. FIRE.

Suffice to say, we made it through the workout. I think this is just a ridiculous thing where I'm going to need to be overdramatic and fake-cranky to get through it.


On the plus-side, we had some deeelish protein smoothies when we were done. They almost make it worth it. Almost.

So my birthday's coming up in a week from tomorrow (heeyyyy 11/11!), and the Bearded Wonder and I have decided to do cupcakes for my birthday for the sake of portion control. Really I'd be happy with a fruit tart or something, buuuuuut frosting. And it's my birthday. And cupcakes! :D Plus I won a gift card this summer to a bakery in the area, so I have to use that. Y'know, don't want to waste it or anything.


That's about it for me, I think. I've got a zumba date on Wednesday, we're going to try to squeeze in a workout tomorrow night, and I'm trying to be better about working out in general. My food choices have been overall much better. Did I have a sundae the other day? Ok maybe.. But I basically ate from the veggie tray and skipped a cupcake (or 2. or 3. they were teeny tiny) at a birthday party the day before. Win-win??

xo
A Redhead

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

3 weeks is too darn long

Hi everyone.

My name is Redhead, and I haven't blogged in 3 weeks.

<Hi Redhead>

So it's been 3 weeks! Bearded Wonder and I have [mostly] been doing TurboFire, buuut stuff has been kind of incredibly insane the last few days, so we haven't been able to work out.

That being said, this girl has lost 6 pounds.




We've done some really exciting, yet really maintainable changes with our diet. The plan was to cut out sugar, fried food, super processed foods (basically all the good things in life), which we've been doing for the most part. We [generally] aren't eating bread with sugar (we just make our own*), sticking with whole wheat pasta, avoiding sweet sauces (bbq, ketchup, etc.), and the obvious: not eating cookies/candies/cake/etc.

SO. Overall it's gone really well. But I've also had some really great moments working on my moderation. Yeah, it'd be great if I could cut this stuff out forever and just drop all the weight because of it, but that's a miserable existence. Power to you if you can/want to do it, but I just don't. If I go to a birthday party, I want to enjoy a [small] piece of cake.

Speaking of which, totally did that last weekend. We went to a birthday party and split a small piece of cake. It was the perfect amount, though it was still pretty darn rich; I really could've been happy with a 1/4 of the piece instead of 1/2 of it (Thank you Wegman's!). Also, we got some frozen custard from this place I looooooove, and instead of the big honkin' medium size with Oreos (oh sweet baby Jesus I love oreos) and hot fudge, I got a small chocolate custard. That's it. No frills. No fuss.

Giiiirrrrrllll.

It was good

This will never *not make me giggle. 
It was perfect. It was the right amount of frozen custard without being too much. (Speaking of which, I want some right now. Y'know what I'm sayin'?)

Yes, we cheated a little a few times (s'mores and all this past weekend), but more importantly I've been super focused on moderating stuff. I was really proud of the Bearded Wonder last weekend: we went out to dinner and he ordered a burger, then ended up flagging down the waitress to sub a salad for his fries. It's awesome. We're making sustainable lifestyle choices and seeing results from it.

So that's it. Hopefully things will slow down soon and 1) I'll start posting more [for real this time], and 2) we'll be back into working out.

Oh and I suppose I should mention…
The blog hit 30,000 views. :o)  


Thanks friends! It's completely up to you that this blog succeeds, so thank you for reading and commenting and following!

xo
A Redhead

*Note: We use this recipe, except we use melted unsalted butter instead of oil. SO good. Plus it makes 2 loaves and freezes well! Hooray!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Am I twerking…?

Those are the thoughts that run through my mind during a zumba class.

Then again, I'm also thinking: "Oh Lord, I'm so sorry I just bent over in front of you" and "Oh yowza- my feeties!", or "Oooo forget it, I'm taking my shirt off!" (Yes, that happened tonight).

I've joined a 90-day commitment to fitness on Facebook with some girl friends. We've all committed to 4+ times of workout/week for at least 30 minutes, being accountable with each other, and probably some kind of diet plan. Hubbins has said he'll do it with me, but he's not in the group since several of us (ugghhh) have posted "Before" pictures. We're (hubby and I) also going to take our measurements and weigh ourselves to see how this goes over the next 90 days.

90 days… Geez. That's no joke. It's not like the ~20 day things I've done before. This is through the holidays. This is through all the pies, mini candies, and CHRISTMAS COOKIES.

CHRISTMAS. COOKIES. 


My heart is sad, but really, so are my hips. And my belly. And my chins. All the chins. 

I'll be starting Turbofire tomorrow with my friend Abs and that should be interesting. She's at least done this before, but I'm just going to go in and see what happens. =P 

Can I brag on the Bearded Wonder for a second? I try not to on social media, because gross, but man- this guy. He's so supportive with any and every thing, and I really don't know that I could even attempt this without him. Remember that time he dragged me to the gym? It's just because he cares so much. He did zumba with me tonight (HILARIOUS*), and he'll be doing Turbofire with me tomorrow. 

Between him and all the support from these 90-day ladies… Man I feel like a rockstar. 


OH! My shirt. Let's rewind to zumba for a second. This room was biggish, but there were also at least 15 extra people in there over what should've been comfortable. So while they had 2 fans blowing, they couldn't conquer the exertion everyone was exuding. It was marginally akin to the bikram yoga session, except more fun and with a lot of Spanish music. It was SO hot. Oh so hot. My pasty Irish skin was burning, and after mopping up a ton of sweat with my t-shirt, I finally said "Screw it" and threw it to the side. 

I shook my tail feather in my yoga pants with my neon yellow sports bra and black spaghetti strap tank top. Not something I'd normally wear in public, but when it's a thousand degrees and you feel like you can't breathe, you also can't wear that much clothing. It's just not right. So I took it off and I danced danced danced! 

We're watching DWTS, and this just happened on live TV. My heart sang. <3 #CarltonForLife
OK so that's where I'm at! Hopefully more regularly blogging now that stuff is moving, so keep your eyes peeled and subscribe to this silly thing! :) 

How've you been in my absence? ;) 

xo
A Redhead

*Note: There's not much better than watching your husband twerk in a room mostly filled with women and 1 super uncoordinated guy. So good. It made the whole thing worth it. ;)