Tag Archives: "The Biggest Loser"

Giving Thanks

The Beatles have come “home!”

When you’re at the grocery store this morning, and there’s a two-person traffic jam by the shopping carts, it gives you time to think about Thanksgiving. There’s so much to be thankful for!

• I’m so grateful that the Beatles, my favorite rock group, finally are on iTunes! I’ve been waiting seven years for it to happen, ever since I got my first iPod for my 50th birthday. I do own several Beatles CDs, but most of my albums were of the archaic vinyl persuasion. Not being into file sharing, I’ve waited not-so patiently for this historic digital download day, and I’ve finally been rewarded.

How often will I listen to the Beatles on my iPod now? Probably eight days a week!

My #2 son smirks.

• I suppose I should be thankful that I have a son who loves to challenge me photographically. Last night while we were watching “The Biggest Loser,” he was mimicking some of the contestants’ workouts by lifting weights. Of course, the minute I swung my Nikon in his direction, he stopped and just lifted his arm. Then he pulled a blanket over himself and used the weights underneath it where I couldn’t see them.

All while smirking. Good thing he’s so darned cute!

A couple of my #1 son’s favorites.

• Of course, the reason I was at Kroger in the first place waiting for the traffic jam to dissipate was because I needed to buy food that I haven’t stocked since the Labor Day weekend. Yep, my older son will be home from college tonight! We’re looking so forward to seeing him again and having our house back to normal . . . until Sunday when he has to go back.

He’ll return home for the long winter break on December 14th . . . when I could be facing that shopping cart traffic jam once again.

Tasty Tuesday’s Aftermath

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Wowzer! I’m thrilled to report that the chicken baked using the Dijon honey mustard Flavor Magic Portion Control Sheets was a huge hit with the boys! They said it was the best chicken I had ever made (and, believe it or not, they sometimes actually like the chicken I’ve cooked for them). The entire process was easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy. Here’s how it worked:

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First, you cut the chicken to size (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, because I’m lazy, of course), dampen it, and lay it on one of the sheets (above left). Then you put plastic wrap over it and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for about 30 minutes. Then be prepared to bask in the praise and glory of your ever-indebted family who have crowned you the Cooking Queen . . . as if!

I especially liked that there was almost no mess with the sheets, so cleanup was a snap. I’ll keep using the Dijon honey mustard sheets, as well as the Rivieria tomato and basil sheets, with chicken, pork, and fish. I might even try the Rivieria sheet with tofu, since it’s vegan!

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Speaking of vegan

Double-wowzer! While the boys were scarfing down their chicken, I was enjoying my red pepper and spinach hashed browns. They were really good! The recipe was a natural for my limited cooking abilities: It didn’t have a lot of ingredients (red pepper, onion, garlic, potatoes, and spinach), it didn’t take long to prepare and cook, and it wasn’t too messy. I definitely would make it again.

5259-me-goggles1The only problem with the recipe was chopping the onions. I try to chop as fast as I can, but I can’t stand how much the little buggers sting my eyes. If I had only checked out the National Onion Association‘s website! Guess I should’ve figured that the little buggers would have their own site. The NOA recommends chilling the onion before cutting and trimming off the root end last for reducing the tears. Me? I reasoned if the irritant can’t get into my eyes, it wouldn’t affect me. So I grabbed some handy swim goggles . . . and it worked! And it made the #1 son laugh! I did learn that it’s pretty hard to take a quick photo of yourself, so this was the best I could do.

Tonight’s TV watch

bob-harperIt’s an embarrassment of riches on the tube tonight! There’s the second half of “The Biggest Loser” along with “American Idol” and “Lost.”  Whew!

Speaking of “TBL,” there was sooo much crying, especially by my third husband, trainer Bob, on last night’s show. You would’ve thought Bob’s former trainees were moving to Siberia! Man up, Bob!

Get ’er dones

I’ll be spending more time on the phone talking to Applecare. Yesterday they advised uninstalling and reinstalling iLife ’09 to try to solve the GarageBand ’09 problem of not opening GB ’08 songs, but that didn’t work. I remain suspicious of the install disc.

Of course, it’s Kitchen Wednesday, so I’ll at least open mail and shred. There’s always so much more to do with so little energy in the afternoon.

Finally, there will be dinner and TV. How did John Locke die? I think we finally get that question answered on “Lost.” One answer down, 533 more to go!

Tasty Tuesday, Omni- and Vegan-Style

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The Ice Bowl

The ironically named (for Houston) Ice Bowl Saturday was warmer than the evening’s scouts shooting gig, although a front passing through did dip the temps 10 degrees (from 71 to 61) along with a short shower. The Mister and the boys played in this 18-hole disc golf tournament that benefitted the Houston Food Bank, one of my favorite causes. I tagged along to click some pix and take some video for the blog.

183-2-wbeanie#2 son is the best player among the three (disc golf is his passion), so he, of course, posted the best score, followed by his Pops. But #1 son in only his second tournament did really well and only whined when he wanted the drink that he had left in the car. I went to get it, and, of course, missed #2 son’s drive that landed a few feet from the basket on the first hole, which eventually won him his first-ever CTP (closest to the pin) prize of a natty Ice Bowl knit beanie (he loves those).

I only took a few pix before the rain came. But I got some pretty good video with the Flip Mino. I really like this little camcorder; it’s so handy and easy to carry. I haven’t tried making a movie using the Flip’s software yet because I’m used to iMovie, but it looks pretty straightforward. The music, by the way, is part of iMovie. It’s easy to use and handy but almost impossible to tweak by a couple seconds, which is why it sounds a little short. One of these days I’d like #1 son to teach me how to compose in GarageBand, so I can be more exact with the music. That’s a way-in-the-future get ’er done!

Tasty Tuesday

flavor-magicIn our quest for healthier eating while watching “The Biggest Loser” (an hour tonight and tomorrow, for a change, because of the presidential address), I’m going to try something new for the guys: Flavor Magic Portion Control Sheets. Basically, they are easy seasoning sheets that marinate meat and fish in one simple step. I’ve never gotten the hang of seasoning food, so I’m taking the easy way out. I’m going to use the dijon honey mustard sheets with boneless, skinless chicken breasts tonight and will have my human taste testers report back.

Meanwhile, I’m going to try a new vegan recipe: Red pepper and spinach hashed browns that I saw on Jenn’s Hello Veggie blog. As you may recall, this is where I found the marinara squash recipe; I’m hoping that this attempt will turn out better.

cropped-mori-nu-silken-tofuEven though I’m not much of an experimenter when it comes to cooking (which usually is an experiment for me anyway), I have a box of Mori-Nu Extra Firm Silken Tofu that needs to be used this week that I might add to the recipe. Or I just might wait until Wednesday or Thursday to use it. Wow, two new recipes for me in one week?!? Did anyone else feel the earth shift on its axis?!?

Get ’er dones

I’m still working on the scout photos, of course. Those are top priority today. I also need to call Applecare to see why GarageBand 09 won’t play most of #1 son’s GB 08 songs. If I have a chance, I might Ten-Minute Task a certain family room chair that still isn’t done.

Squashing My Enthusiasm

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Was it hard to sleep last night, wondering how Tasty Tuesday turned out? The wait is finally over! Here’s the 411:

Possibly the hardest part of making the marinara squash was, no surprise, cutting the squash in half. That sucker was rock solid! I almost succumbed to running next door and pleading with JJ, the organizational wiz and accomplished chef, to help with the unyielding vegetable, but instead I just pierced its skin and microwaved it for a few minutes. That helped immensely. As is par for the course for me, I put the halves fleshy part down on the baking pan, popped it in the oven, and then read the rest of the instructions. Duh! Will I ever learn? So I had to pull the pan out of the oven, season the squash skin as instructed, and push it back in for 30 minutes.

Chipotle logoWhen I looked at the baked spaghetti squash, I was naturally dismayed: There seemed to be a lot of work ahead. This is why I’m usually the simplest of vegans: I can live on salads, which are easy to make, and fruit. Or I can live at Chipotle and let them cook for me. Either way, I’m a happy camper.

But I digress . . . I sat down at the kitchen table to deseed the squash while watching “American Idol” (which we never did finish; got to catch up tonight). It was a long, torturous job, with many seeds hiding everywhere. After a long sigh, it was time to rake the spaghetti-like strands with a fork. Raking = gardening = too much work! But I really wanted to eat dinner, so rake away I did. I finally got a bowl full, added the marinara sauce, nixed the chives (too much added work), and sat down for a taste test while watching the lovefest on “The Biggest Loser.” 

The verdict: The best part probably was the marinara sauce. Otherwise, I think spaghetti squash is too bland for my tastes and much too much work for me to ever make it again. I’m glad I tried it, though; now I can cross it off my veggie bucket list. Oh, and #2 son’s comment was, “That doesn’t look at all like spaghetti.” Doesn’t taste like it either, son.

Ten-Minute Tasks

The NuShield is on the MacBook! It actually only took about five minutes to apply. You can see the edges of it, but it’s not too noticeable. The $64,000 question, though, is how does it handle the glare? Quite nicely, I’m happy to report. I think it cuts the glare a good 75-80 percent, making it a worthwhile acquisition for those glossy laptop screens. Recommended!

mac-mail-logo1The iMac’s TMT is stretching for much longer than 10 minutes, unfortunately. The good news was that the Apple store geniuses put the data back on the computer. But there have been some glitches: First, the system administrator password doesn’t work anymore, which means I can’t install new software or certain downloads. That has to be reset via the install disks (hassle!). Second, Mac Mail isn’t working properly. I can set up the boys’ mailboxes and mail comes in but doesn’t go out. Grrrr! Finally, not only did the so-called geniuses not install iLife ’09 like they said they would, they didn’t reinstall iLife ’08, which came with the iMac! Major grrrrr!!

So along with Kitchen Wednesday, today I will be solving the above iMac problems, hopefully, satisfactorily. Maybe I’ll also solve a few of the “Lost” mysteries in anticipation of tonight’s episode!

Tasty Tuesday (I Hope!)

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See that lone, naked spaghetti squash up there? I hope that at this time tomorrow I can regale you with tales of how tasty it was after it’s been cooked tonight!

80x80px-ls-365_organicI’m going to use a recipe that I found on Helloveggie.org for marinara squash. While it does have slightly more than three ingredients, one is the squash, another is marinara sauce (I just happen to have a jar of Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Pasta Sauce), and the others are olive oil, salt, pepper, and chives—I have everything! I’ve never eaten spaghetti squash before thought I’ve always wanted to, but I must admit that I was intimidated by the hard-shelled beast. But Helloveggie.org’s Jenn has me believing that I can successfully master the squash, so I’ll be tackling it tonight and, hopefully, enjoying it while I watch “The Biggest Loser.”

Oh, and yes, I photographed the squash on a very old Thomas the Tank Engine plate. And worse? We still use that plate (love that Thomas!).

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 Ten-Minute Tasks

There are so many needy contenders in the house! I’ve decided to pick the NuShield, which came a couple days ago. It’s pictured above in the plastic bag it came in and on top of the MacBook (the white border is the adhesive). It looks like it might take a good 10 minutes to carefully adhere it to my MacBook screen (I’m usually terrible at tasks like this), after which I will test it to see if it really helps with the glare. I like the idea of a screen protector, of course, but I’d love to cut down on the MacBook’s glossy screen’s glare.

I’ll also be spending at least 10 minutes when I bring the boys’ iMac back home and set it up again. The Apple store geniuses think there was a problem with the operating system, so they wiped the internal hard drive and reinstalled Leopard as well as iLife ’09. We have everything backed up on an external hard drive via Time Machine, but the geniuses want us to move everything back manually in case the problem also was backed up. Naturally, #1 son is worried he’ll lose some of his iTunes songs, but I think all will be right with his world.

Those TMTs are today’s get ’er dones!

TMT? Need TNT!

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Here are the before and after photos from yesterday’s Ten-Minute Task (TMT) . . . almost hard to tell which one is which! Ten minutes isn’t a very long time, and I even went past that time when I forgot that the awful, loud, incessant beeping I was hearing was, indeed, the microwave’s timer. Thank you, #2 son, for gently pointing out that it was, indeed, the infernal timer beeping for everyone on the block and in outer space to hear (oh, and thanks for also pointing out that I was trying to lock your brother’s car with my car’s key after school; I appreciate that you didn’t laugh too loudly).

It’s fairly obvious that the family room clutter chair needs many TMT sessions, but at least I’ve made a start. Here’s hoping that the next 10 minutes I spend clearing its field is more fruitful. Looks like Lazy Mom Amanda did a better job than I did!

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Kitchen Wednesday

Hump Day means I’ll be spending at least a half-hour in the kitchen, going through the mail, shredding, and tackling a task. I’m going to prospect for gold in the clutter stacker (pictured on the left), a too-convenient place to put paperwork and various sundry items that I don’t feel like dealing with at that moment. I’m sure I’ll excavate some relics among the few treasures. I’m also going to figure out the product on the right. It contains a Cable Photo Holder that I ordered from Photojojo. This is supposed to be an easy way to display photos on the wall; I’ll let you know what I think once I have it up in my office. It has eight magnets for displaying photos, memos, and cards that attach to the thin steel cable.

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Surviving While Lost

Today and tomorrow might be the greatest two nights in the history of television: “Lost” is tonight, and “Survivor” begins its new season tomorrow night. We are huge “Survivor” fans, having watched every episode (this is the 18th season). We truly enjoy seeing the different personalities in this reality show disguised as a social experiment. We rate the challenges, try to pick who will be voted out each week, and try to say the Jeff Probstisms at the same time he says them (as in, “Wanna know what you’re playing for?” “Immunity is back up for grabs.” “I’ll tally the votes.” “The tribe has spoken.”). Gosh, I’m getting goosebumps in anticipation! We’re sure “Survivor: Tocantins—The Brazilian Highlands” won’t disappoint.

subway_logo_largeLast night we disagreed with some of the “American Idol” picks, of course; seems like the show just has to choose some obvious looneys to ensure the show has enough drama. Maybe they’ll be booted tonight! As for “The Biggest Loser,” I have only one question: Did Subway pay for the entire episode?!? That had to be the biggest product-placement ploy yet! Well, at least my third husband, trainer Bob Harper, looked gorgeous during the entire show; made it all worthwhile! It’s nice that this season’s “TBL” features contestants who are much nicer than last season’s. It was a veritable lovefest last night when big Blaine was voted off (which he asked everyone to do). I’m sure at some point it might become cutthroat ($250,000 will do that to people), but I don’t think there will be any of the animosity of last season.

Pain in the neck

homedics-shiatsuBefore I could type today, I spent 15 minutes in therapy with our HoMedics Shiatsu pillow. The Mister had bought this over the holidays, because we all seem to have neck pain. Mine is brought about by two things: Working at the computer and stress. This time, I think the culprit  was stress. I felt that familiar stab of pain the other day in Walmart . . . when I walked past Jackson Hewitt’s tax preparation booth. I could swear I heard someone whispering, “Finish looking through those receipts for Romeo!”

Ten-Minute Tasking Tuesday

 

family room clutter chair

One of the websites I enjoy reading is Lazy Moms. Last Friday on the Lazy Mom website, Amanda and Leslie set out the idea of doing manageable 10-minute tasks. I actually think that even I, someone with severe stay-at-home-mom ADD, could stay focused for that long. So here’s my first 10-minute task: the clutter chair in the family room. I cringe every time I pass that darned chair, not that it makes me jump right in and clear the clutter. Much better to do my best Scarlett O’Hara imitation . . . “I’ll think about that tomorrow!”

I’m hoping to have a good “after” photo to show tomorrow. And I’ll try my best NOT to just move all the clutter to the matching chair next to it. And I’ll do my best to put away, recycle, donate, or toss everything on the chair. Scout’s honor!

Receipts stack update

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Here’s what the receipts stack looked like yesterday before I pulled out the receipts I need to look through (and if you’re wondering if I’ve completed this particular task yet, then you really don’t know me at all). The blue accordion folder? That’s for the 2009 receipts, as recommended by my ridiculously well-organized neighbor, JJ. I don’t pretend that actually using the folder all year will put me anywhere close to the same organizational atmosphere as her (as we’ve learned in science, the “JJsphere” is smack dab between the stratosphere and mesosphere), but it might allow me to revolve around her sun and make it easier to get information to Romeo, our tax accountant, earlier than April. My nonorganizational atmosphere that I reside in, the “cluttersphere,” means that it’s totally unlikely that every receipt actually will be found in the accordion folder this time next year. Time will tell!

A footnote: Half of the stack of receipts pictured is from 2007—they’re the ones we needed for that tax return and to keep for reference purposes. Just haven’t filed them yet. Sound like yet another future get ’er done . . . must add it to the growing stack of them!

Venting machine

tiger-woodsHere’s something that really chaps me: Every time I’ve read a story about Tiger and Elin Woods’ new son, it almost always proclaims that Tiger has become a father again. Excuse me?!? Once a parent, always a parent! There’s no expiration date, well, until we actually expire for good. Can’t the journalists just write that Tiger added to his family?

iPod Touch update

Speaking of family, it looks like the #1 son finally has made his new Touch his main iPod . . . and it hasn’t even been an entire week! Now to see how long it will take him to add his second app.

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TV watch

Last night’s “The Big Bang Theory” was hilarious and worth waiting for (it was delayed by the presidential address). Christine Baranski (shown above with Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon) played Leonard’s mother, and she was brilliant! Kind of like a female Sheldon. We just love all the quirkiness surrounding the show; makes Monday nights just a little bit brighter.

the-biggest-loserTonight we’ll probably watch “American Idol” first and then “The Biggest Loser” as it’s being DVRed; that way we can fast-forward through all the commercials and maybe even avoid the product-placement pitches during the show. “AI” is still on its dreaded Hollywood Week where breakdowns and meltdowns are part of the daily menu. The question isn’t so much if the contestants can sing but rather whether or not they can take the pressure. Almost makes losing a hundred or so pounds a breeze!