Wednesday, July 7, 2010

After one year of knowing Posey . . .

I am the happiest I have ever been.
And that’s due in no small part to
Posey coming into our lives.

For the past year, she has made our transition to a family of four such an easy one.
Most of the time.

Her sweet and happy-go-lucky nature melts our hearts and makes me such a grateful person!

Everywhere we go, people comment on what a happy and content baby she is.

We can’t imagine our family without her.

Posey, I’m so proud to be your mami.
I love you so very much.
And I look forward to every day with you.
I feel so fortunate.

Happy first birthday,
my sweet, sweet girl!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tardy to the party

Oh, if only I could blog as enthusiastically as I'm living the vegan life these days. Cooking, walking, and enjoying summer have really taken a toll on my blog love. You know, I've never been a good multi-tasker, so maybe this is just another example of how much I like to work on one project at a time. And my current project is . . . well, me.

Our long weekend away from home for a family wedding didn't do quite as much damage to that number on the scale as I'd feared. As of today, I'm down a little more than two pounds from last week. I'm really focused now on where I'll be at the end of this four-month experiment, which ends July 7th. I came into this with virtually no goals, certainly none that were weight-loss related, but I've suddenly found myself with a 40-pound total loss within my grasp.

So, you know what that means, right? I'll be spending even more time away from the computer!
I've got a little less than 2 weeks to get the last 3.4 pounds off and make it a real 40-pound loss in 4 months.

Meanwhile, I wouldn't be the proud mommy (actually spelled "mami" at our house) I am without sharing pictures of my pretty girls from last weekend. Eloise, as the flower girl, performed her duties to perfection. And Posey was the life of the party. Especially when she kept everyone entertained by doing her best Darryl Hannah (you saw Splash, right?) impersonation.

Wonderful reminders that, no matter what I weigh, I'm a lucky woman.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday Haikus

Another five pounds --
Gone from my body this week
And let's hope for good.

Attributing it
To long walks on humid days
That keep speeding up.

My meals have been fresh --
Salads so plentiful, a
Fluffy tail has formed.

Life is chaotic:
More updates will soon appear
When things settle down.

Not haiku format --
I can't squeeze it all into
These 3-line phrases.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


My weekend was like a berry cobbler.

It was
a little bit surprising,
rather satisfying,
incredibly sweet
all at the same time.

There was one slightly
too-sour berry,
but it didn't manage to
overpower the rest of
us, er, the fruits.

I'll share more with you soon.
Please forgive me.
After such a busy weekend,
my brain is . . . yep, you guessed it . . .

Friday, June 11, 2010

What a girl wants

Would someone who loves me please, please, please buy me one of these?

Actually, anyone can buy one for me, but I figured only someone who really likes me, or possibly who gave birth to me, would be willing to drop more than $200 on something I'm coveting.

But, maybe you're thinking about how much songs about beets means to you, and how fond you are of the blogger who created this Place You Can Barely Live Without, and now you're just itching to show your appreciation for the fountain of witty commentary you always find here?


So the deal is that you take a cool photograph, and then you send it to Modern Bird Studios, and they create art for you. In case you've already got your trigger finger hovering over the "Order" button, I'm pretty partial to the ones in blue. Like this:

I'm going to be spending my weekend attempting some artistic-looking photography. With an 11-month old and a soon-to-be 3-year old. That oughta be easy. But I want to have something ready to upload right when I get that email from Modern Bird notifying me of the amazing gift purchased by my generous benefactor.

I think this is also good motivation to finally get that lemonade stand Eloise keeps talking about up and running. She suggested we price drinks at a nickel. Maybe I can convince her to up her price if I show her the cool artwork we could get with our earnings. College fund? What college fund?

Hope your weekend is fruitful!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

Five pounds went to the wayside this week, which puts me at a total of 30 pounds lost since March 7th.

Wooooo hooooo!!!

I fear this excitement may be short lived, however, because of two things:
the Week O' Bloat will be upon me shortly, and right after that,
we're heading out of town for a weekend wedding (where Eloise is the flower girl -- I'm so excited to see her all dolled up!).

Although most days I feel like I have a handle on the vegan thing, I still haven't quite figured out how to make it work when I'm away from home. Pretty much every meal out has been non-vegan, in fact (but, there have only been a few in the past 3 months). Add to that the fact that I'm also trying to eat, consistently, in such a way that I continue to lose weight . . . and it all kind of makes my head spin.

I'm telling you all this so you're not disappointed when you don't see the scale go down next week. Or the week after. I know how emotional you get about my weigh-ins.

And I'm also telling you this so you send me your tips for eating healthfully while away from home.
Stick carrots in every pocket?
Arrange for a major dental procedure just before we leave that won't allow me to eat for a few days?

What else 'ya got?

Monday, June 7, 2010


Posey turned 11-months old today.
And the other baby I'm nurturing right now, this vegan eating experiment, turned 3-months old.

Although still in its infancy, I've already learned a lot from baby #3.
I've learned that diapers aren't cheap. No matter the size.
I've learned it's okay to fail. It's giving it a try in the first place that really matters.
And I've learned that you really do get back what you put out there. Into the universe. Into your family. Into your health. Into your . . . life.

And as I was snapping shots of Posey today to document her 11-month-ness,

it occurred to me that I've had the pleasure of feeling full of wonder for the past few months. Much like my real baby. How much delight is there in the discovery of simple things?

Like when your sister naps later than you do, and you finally get ALL the plastic accessories to yourself? (And so you hang on to them for dear life.)

Like when you are face-to-face with dazzlingly bright colors?

Like when you realize your hard work, your time, your effort, and your well-intentioned thoughts are paying off? In immeasurable benefits for yourself and your entire family?

Those are moments worth treasuring.
On birthdays and way, way beyond.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

Do you think that if I cook my way through Supermarket Vegan, and blog about my experiences, they'll make a movie about me?

Beetnik Mama & Donna

Doesn't that have a nice ring to it? Cha-ching!!

Well, movie or not, I have been working my way through this great cookbook, and apparently the recipes are agreeing with me -- I lost two more pounds this week. That brings me to 25 pounds lost since March 7!

I'm really excited about that.

I'm also excited about another book I'm reading, and if you came across this blog because, like me, you have had "issues" with food, then you should pick up a copy. I haven't finished it yet, but I can already tell you I'll be reading Women Food and God at least one more time. I've been a big fan of Geneen Roth's for ages. And when I say ages, I mean I've been reading her stuff since the late 80's. So when I'd heard she was coming out with a new book, and then learned she'd be discussing it on Oprah, I was very interested.

This book is most certainly speaking to me. Her others did, too, but maybe I wasn't in the right place yet to hear what they were saying? I mean, I just told you I've been reading her stuff for 20+ years, but I clearly still don't have a handle on my weight nor have I managed to lose weight and actually keep it off. But, I'm listening now, and I'd love to discuss some of Geneen's ideas with you. Let me know if you are reading or have read this exceptional book!

Friday, May 28, 2010

What a girl wants

More fun, floppy hats.

More chunky plastic accessories.

And definitely more
Pants-Free Fridays.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!
With or without pants.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

As it turns out, even if I hadn't decided to back off blogging this week, I would have probably had to post less anyway. Life just got in the way. In the form of a sick baby girl. Poor little petal.

We spent much of Monday and Tuesday mornings in the doctor's office trying to figure out why Posey had a 104-degree fever and was inconsolably miserable. After much poking and prodding, our pediatrician came to the conclusion that she has the Virus of the Month. In other words, there was nothing we could really do except let her rest and try to keep her hydrated. And rest she did. That poor baby slept yesterday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, and then went back to bed at 7:30.

The good news is that when she finally woke up last night, she was ready to eat, and we actually saw a smile or two. That made us all happy.

Know what else is making me happy?
Losing SIX POUNDS this week!

Okay, technically, this was a four-pound loss because I was up +2 last week. But I'm more than thrilled with four.

I'm thinking exercise must have played a big part in my losses lately -- I've lost much more consistently since I also started moving on a consistent basis. So I'm working hard to find a little time in each day to walk or pop in a workout DVD. I know they say diet is 80% of weight loss, but maybe my body just needs that extra 20% push from exercise.

I'm getting healthy.
And Posey has been instructed that she must remain healthy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

That was just what I needed.

My extra-long weekend away from the blogosphere was spent doing a lot of this:

But we also cooked a lot and laughed a lot.

It has been unseasonably warm around here, so we took our food processor for a spin to try out the banana ice cream Mama Pea linked to last week. Oh, my lovelies, it is good. And good for you! You won't believe it's just frozen bananas until you give it a whirl for yourself. And definitely include the agave/cocoa powder topping!

Remember how I shared our love of pizza recently? Well, we decided to veer from our tried-and-true toppings this weekend, and we went with pesto. We used a vegan pesto recipe from my new fave cookbook -- Supermarket Vegan. So yummy. Close to ridiculously yummy. I want to share it with you, but are there some sort of copyright issues with that? Hmmmmm. I need to find out because you would love it. And I'd happily type it out, but I wouldn't be so happy about being sued by the recipe's creator. Yeah. That little detail.

Yes, I enjoyed my time off immensely. While I was away, I did a lot of thinking. And here is where I'm at: I didn't miss blogging very much. Oh, I thought of a few things that I wanted to get off my chest (like D-E-licious pesto recipes!), but they weren't thoughts that couldn't wait awhile.

So I've decided to do a little less blogging and a lot more living.

I'm not abandoning this project, and that is largely because of the fabulous support I've received through baring my heart and soul here, but I do want to step back a bit. I've tried really hard to record my thoughts consistently, but there are times when I would actually rather read a book or take a nap or try a new recipe!

Right now, the plan is to be here often, but that will probably translate into Not Daily. There may be weeks where it's raining, or I'm feeling talkative, or I just need some extra socializing, and you'll see me around constantly again. But there may also be weeks when I sneak off for some needed time away without feeling guilty about it.

When I'm 103, and I look back on my life, I want to be happy I took time to stop and smell the peonies.

They're here such a short time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Making a break for it

Things are beautiful around here.

The sky is brilliant blue.
The lilacs are in bloom.
The temperature is perfect.

So, I'd rather be out enjoying it all.

No time for blogging, folks. It would be downright sinful to be sitting inside on the computer. (Actually, if I sat on my computer, I really wouldn't be blogging anymore.)

I'm taking a couple of days to follow the example of Tricia at Endurance Isn't Only Physical. She walked off 90 pounds (and ran off the rest), and I'm feeling like I need to get goin' while the gettin's good.

I'm giving myself the day off! (And maybe tomorrow, too.)

I hope you join me for some fresh air and sunshine. I'd love to hear what you're doing with your warm spring days!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday

Today is un hodgo podgo. That's a hodge podge for you English-only speakers. We'll be traveling to Miami today, so I'm getting you in the mood.

Let's get the numbers out of the way. If you were here yesterday, you won't be surprised to hear that I didn't miraculously drop 5 pounds overnight. In fact, the water weight just keeps creeping on . . . this morning I was up 2 full pounds from last week.

It has to be water weight, right? If I'm eating the same way and exercising the same way I did the previous week?

Let's move on. (It's funny how I don't care to discuss my weight on Weigh-in Wednesdays that don't show losses. Humph.)

I do, however, want to say that I'm not feeling entirely dismal today because I tried on some old pants, and they fit! Wooo-hooo! Here's the deal. A family member is getting married next month. And Eloise is the flower girl in that wedding, so I've been spending a fair amount of time figuring out what dress she'll wear, finding shoes, hair accessories, etc. Suddenly, it dawned on me that, um, I am going to need something to wear, too.

So I started perusing the usual haunts for inexpensive dresses, but I wasn't feeling it. I really don't want to spend even $50 on something like that now. First, if things go according to plan, I'll only be able to wear that dress for this particular summer, right? And, second, the reality is that the chances of me wearing it again in the same summer are probably about .001%. I live in yoga capris. There just aren't many occasions on my social calendar that call for dressy dresses.

I actually wasn't thinking about any of this (the wedding, needing something dressy) when I decided to take a gamble on some stuff in my closet. I was, however, thinking about how I need some warm weather clothes that fit. And about how I do not want to spend the money on an entirely new wardrobe this summer. My weight has yo-yo'd so much in the past few years that I've had to buy new things in almost every season. That gets expensive. And depressing.

So when I dropped into the next decade last week (no longer there, thankyouverymuch, Aunt Flo!), I started going through my stacks of capris from summers past. Lo and behold, I found things that fit! Smaller things! And then the wheels started turning, and I realized that I had a bunch of clothes hanging there that I'd purchased for a trip to South Florida in 2007.

We had Eloise baptized in Miami, near Paul's family, right before Christmas that year. I was bigger than I'd been in years thanks to eating my way through the first, stressful months of new parenthood. I weighed more when Eloise turned four months than I did when I gave birth to her. So I'd bought a week's worth of new, warm weather clothes for the trip. I felt so huge then, which is weird because I now feel good about being lighter than I was a few months ago, and I must be about the same size that I was 2.5 years ago. (Did you follow that?) I remember being so ashamed of my appearance. I wouldn't share the pictures with anyone. And now, here I am, all excited to show you the pants that I can fit back into. Life has some strange turns.

Here I am at the baptism. Do you think that outfit looks dressy enough for a June, afternoon wedding? Because . . . it fits again! (The cream-colored pants and silky top. I'm not anywhere near thin enough to wear my sister's purple dress.)

Now, granted, I need to use the next four weeks wisely. I could stand to have a little more room in the waist. And I'll be armed with a solid pair of Spanx, for sure. But, when I tried those pants on and saw that they weren't too far off the mark, I felt, well, elated.

And looking back at those pictures, I don't think I look awful. Not my best, but not nearly the hideous creature I imagined myself to be back then. I wonder why I don't feel a little less hideous now? Maybe I need to spend more time looking at those pics. (Or maybe I need to go back to blonde!)

One last piece of podge in the hodge today.
And it's the most important one . . .

We love you!

From the afternoon of Eloise's baptism.

We hope you're smiling all day today!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just smashing

I tend to say, "Oooooooooo, that just makes me want to smash something," frequently enough that I thought I should explain it here. In case you actually ever hear me say I want to smash something. And then you'll know you don't really need to run in the other direction. Most likely.

I started saying it years ago after my sister called to talk about a job she was pursuing. Through the interview process, she'd been given a packet of materials, including one of those personality tests some employers like you to fill out. Well, she read me some of the questions, and we couldn't help but laugh at them. It seemed like they were written in order to ensure that everyone but bona fide psychopaths would sail through with flying colors.

Of course, it has been so long now since we joked about it that I can't remember the exact question that set us off, but it was written something like this:

7. Shortly after arriving at your work station one morning, you realize your stapler is sitting on your coworker's desk. You know it is your stapler because you wrote your full name on it with a Sharpie. However, you do not recall your coworker asking to use your stapler. So, upon seeing this, you:

a. realize the entire office is plotting against you.
b. vow to prank call your coworker. At home. Nightly.
c. politely ask for your stapler the next time you need it, and calmly tell your coworker he/she may borrow it at any time.
d. want to smash something.

And, so, my fondness for saying, "Well, THAT makes me want to smash something," was born. Honestly, it has kept me from swearing on more than one occasion. Although there is the troublesome issue of having to explain that I don't really intend to break a vase over anyone's head, it does help me alleviate my frustration most of the time.

Unfortunately, it didn't help much this morning.
I stepped on the scale a day early.
And by the time the thought, "Now, I want to smash something," went through my head, getting a hammer from Paul's toolbox and using it to shatter the scale's digital display seemed like a fairly rational act.

Once a month, I get pretty annoyed about being a woman. Especially when I'm trying to lose weight. It's like an entire week gets canceled out by hormones and bloat. It's just plain old not fair.

And, yes, I know, logically, that the scale went up due to factors beyond my control. I ate well, and I exercised 6 out of 7 days. But, knowing that I can't really change much about the number on the scale doesn't make it any easier to shrug it off. It's like having my stapler just sitting there, over on someone else's desk. Not in it's own spot. Not with its rightful owner!

It's really about the proper order of things. You do X, you get Y.
You borrow a stapler, you put it back.
You exercise and eat well, you lose weight.

Clearly, my body did not get this week's memo about following the proper procedures.

Oh, and the correct answer, obviously, was D.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beetnik pizza

Remember how I went crazy with Babs when I first started this vegan eating experiment? Well, I quickly figured out that daily, fresh, homemade loaves of bread in the house were actually going to increase my dairy products significantly . . . in the form of cottage cheese on my thighs.

So, Monday through Friday, Babs gets some downtime. But come the weekend, we fire her up for what has become our family favorite -- homemade pizza. I told you recently that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed pizza with no cheese. Look at me. It's obvious I didn't get where I am today without loving pretty much all foods, and among my most treasured has always been cheese. So, please, believe me when I tell you how good pizza can be without it.

Pizza crust in the breadmaker
3/4 t. salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. active dry yeast
1 and 3/8 cups water (70-80 degrees F)
3 T. olive oil

Combine all ingredients into bread pan.
Select dough setting.
Pat dough into 12x15-inch jelly roll pan or 14-inch round pizza pan.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread pizza sauce over dough. Sprinkle toppings over sauce.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

I'm in charge of the crust. Paul (and his sidekick/sous chef Eloise) does the toppings.
Here is what we ended up with this weekend.

Babs does her magic.

Getting the dough patted down.
We're teaching her to spin it next weekend.
(Oh, and yes, those are Elo's shoes in the window sill.
Posey has developed a taste for sole food. Ba-dum-bump!)

Paul whipped up a whole bevy of yummy veggies
for toppings.
carmelized onions
sauteed mushrooms
diced roma tomatoes in olive oil, basil, and crushed garlic
roasted corn
kalamata olives

For sauce, we like the pizza sauce from Trader Joe's.
Then, just a sprinkling of cheese on one corner
for Eloise . . .
and, voila!

Getting rave reviews from a tough crowd . . .

Posey enjoyed her favorites, too. Cheese and grapes.

There you have it. Pizza a la Beetnik. I love it because we save money, we know exactly what is going into our dinner, we have leftovers, and we have a good time working together.

The only thing I would change would be the components of the crust. I'd like it to be whole wheat -- that recipe we're using is the one that came with Babs' manual. If you have a good, whole wheat pizza crust that can be made in a bread machine, would you pass it along to me, please?

Oh, and what are your family's favorite toppings?