Thursday, July 30, 2009

Upper Arm Bumps: A Thing of the Past!

Since I was junior high I have had these red yucky bumps on my upper arms. Sometimes there would be a white head on a couple of the bumps. When I have seen doctors in the past they have told me to wash with a gentle soap (such as Dove unscented or Cetaphil) & they would give me an acne prescription to rub on the area. They would never clear up. All year round I’d suffer from these. I HATE wearing sleeveless blouses because of my upper arms. For 2 decades now they have been a major source of embarrassment for me & something that I have been very self-conscience about.

As luck would have it I was looking through a health magazine (can’t remember which one!) & there was a small article in there that someone wrote about have bumps on their upper arms. It sounded so similar to mine!! In this article she wrote about how she used a cream rich in moisturizers & the bumps & redness started to go away. This sounded almost too good to be true. I mean, if a doctor couldn’t help me clear up this problem could an article by someone I don’t even know help?

I decided I was going to try it! I figured it couldn’t get any worse really, could it?? I decided that the cream I was going to try was “Dr. Scholl’s for Her: Foot Cream”. It is a really thick cream that softens rough skin on feet overnight. So I started applying this cream to my upper arms after my showers.

I’ve been doing this for almost 3 weeks now & my upper arms look better now than they have well, forever! The change is amazing – I wish I would have taken pictures (I never do that!) so I could post the difference. My arms no longer have the redness or near the amount of bumpiness. I do have some scarring on my arms that will probably never go away. But I can live with the way they look now!
Thanks, Dr Scholl’s!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Last week we had vacation bible school at our church. While it was a lot of fun I missed eating at home! Every night was either a meal at the church or a drive thru meal. Either way it we had to inhale our food. This week - while the menu may not be glamorous - it will all be made & eaten at home. With no time limit & in the comfort of my home. Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh..............
Monday - lettuce salad with steak & avocado
Tuesday - eggplant parmigiana w/multigrain noodles
Wednesday - chicken chunks, mixed veggies, multigrain bread
Thursday - salmon patties, peas
Friday - sausage & pepperoni pizza
Since my husband & I both work full-time outside the home I don't typically add lunches to the blog. So you may wonder what we eat for lunches. My goal on Sunday (though it happens less than I would like) I is to make some type of salad - egg salad, tuna salad, or green salad mixture. During the week we will use what ever salad to determine what our lunches are. I also don't blog about lunches because I like to have some sort of variety of things here that we can take. Each day is different. Sometimes we have leftovers. Sometimes we take sandwiches.
In a typical day this is what is in my lunch bag: an apple, a container of yogurt, a green salad with some kind of meat, a cheese stick, a couple deli slices of turkey, a water bottle (reusable), a diet coke (gotta have caffeine of some sort by lunch!), & any other fruits/veggies that we have on hand & maybe a hard-boiled egg. It sounds like a lot of food, but it really isn't that much. And since I'm still trying to lose the last 10 pounds I try to eat a little something every couple hours.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Still here - just very busy!!

This week in addition to work full-time we have had Vacation Bible School at church. So I've been gone every day from 7:30 am until 9:00 pm (or later). I'm still around just unable to get any time to really post. I just wanted to put a little note on here so everyone knows that I've been VERY VERY busy and am alright! I will post something this weekend for ya'll to read on Monday - promise!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


You know how you hear a song & it takes you back in time? Well this morning at work I had the radio on and what song should come on but “Lean on Me” (the Club Nouveau version); automatically I was flooded with memories. I am in my early teen years sitting at the Pizza Hut in the Detroit Lakes mall with my cousins.

It was a summer ritual; we’d go up to Pelican Rapids, MN & stay at the cabin my grandparents’ owned on Crystal Lake. When us “cousins” were young the trip included all the boys, girls, aunts, and of course our grandparents. As we got older the trips were divided into girls & boys, each of us going up on a separate week to stay with Grandma & Grandpa –as we matured (if you could call it that!) we no longer required the supervision of the aunts – we were old enough to drive!!

A couple evenings out of the week Grandpa would give each of us money & then would drop us off at Pizza Hut in Detroit Lakes. The plan was to eat some pizza & then go catch a movie. While at Pizza Hut we’d play our favorite songs on the jukebox as we waited for our food. We’d bounce along to the song, occasionally singing along too (but not so loud that it was causing a scene!). After the movie we’d wait for Grandma & Grandpa outside of the mall doors & they would take us back to the cabin. Once we got back there we were so tired we’d go to sleep pretty much right away.

In the mornings I swear Grandpa would be up with the sun. He was not a person that believed in sleeping in. After he got up & had his coffee he would start hollering for us to get up. “Get up Dizzy Lizzy!” he’d shout at me. “The days a’ wasting!” On a couple occasions I didn’t get up when he told me to and was greeted with a pitcher of water. After getting doused with water a couple times I learned my lesson & would pretty much jump out of bed as soon as I heard his voice in the morning.

Most people knew my Grandpa as a no-nonsense type of guy. Not me. Yes he could be gruff & strict, but he was also affectionate. I don’t think many people got to see that side of him. He wore Brylcreme in his hair and would sometimes let me fix it. I’d comb it into funny hairdos, like a mohawk or horns & he would pose with a funny face, look in the mirror, & say ”Come on Skinny Minny, what kind of hairdo is this?”

When Grandpa was diagnosed with skin cancer on his face; they performed surgery to remove the cancer & took some skin from his back to cover the area on his face where they had to remove the cancer. When he got home from surgery he requested that us grandkids not come to see him. He was afraid he would scare us; he said he looked like a monster. I never thought so though. Yes, it was strange to see his scarred face. But I got used to it & after time it was hard to tell he had even had the surgery.

One night Grandpa had a series of strokes that affected every aspect of his being. When he woke up he couldn’t talk or eat. He had to have a feeding tube put in & attend some speech therapy classes. He never really got any of his abilities back before he died.

Grandma was so strong through it all. She didn’t let anything get her down and she never complained. One May she started to not feel so well & have pain in her hip. Her doctor told her it was nothing. In either July or August she went in again & they found cancer everywhere. By December she was gone. I had a really hard time coping with her death & Grandpa’s failing health. I actually avoided them a lot the last few months – it’s one of the biggest regrets I have.

When Grandma died I drowned my sorrows in a 2-liter bottle of Purple Passion. It became a nightly ritual. I’d get together with a couple friends & drink until I was numb. It was definitely not a good way of dealing with grief – but it’s what I did. Since I lived in an apartment with a friend & no family was really around it was easy to hide. I don’t think I had a sober night for months. I’m not really sure what caused me to stop that drinking binge – maybe it was just that I didn’t like the person I was becoming. (I don't know if anyone knows this - but I guess now they will!)

My grandparents were very generous people. They were the kind of people you could count on. They were honest & strong. They both had hard lives growing up. They got married after 2 weeks of dating, if I remember correctly. They had some really hard times in their marriage, but you could see that they really loved each other. I think of them often. Sometimes when I’m thinking of them I am overcome by grief. I know that they are in a much better place – but I still miss them. Someone will call me “Dizzy Lizzy” & I’ll get this pang in my heart because it makes me think of Grandpa or I'll smell lilies and think of Grandma. Every day there is some reminder.

I guess today is one of those days where I miss them tremendously. I just hope they knew how much they were/are loved….

Monday, July 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week I wanted to try to break out of the normal monetonous menus. :)
Sunday - homemade shrimp egg rolls, sauteed snails
Monday - grilled brats, grilled cactus, edamame
Tuesday - tofu stir fry, edamame (again)
Wednesday - greek burger kabobs w/ greek yogurt
Thursday - leftovers
Friday - ?
Saturday - steak, veggies
I admit, the sauteed snails & cactus were impulse buys after watching "Anthony Bourdain's: No Reservations" on the Travel Channel. I was feeling adventuresome and pretty brave. The snails were sauteed in butter and seasoned with Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. The were nothing great to be honest. April probably liked them best out of the 3 of us. Weird.
The cactus we made tonight was really good. We peeled the 'green' off of the cactus leaf (not sure what to call it other than a leaf), rubbed with olive oil and seasoned it. We put it on the grill with the brats. The taste reminded me of asparagus. I had picked it up at the local Asian market and paid about $0.40 for the "leaf" (which was about the length of an encylopedia - yeah, I know I'm "on it" tonight with the descriptions). : )
The tofu for the stir fry on Tuesday night is marinading as we speak in a mixture of hoisin, soy sauce, & cock sauce. (Yes, that is what the bottle says.... "cock sauce". I swear I couldn't even make that up. I can tell you though that each of my sisters-in-law will probably be getting a bottle for Christmas.....just because it's funny.) The stir fry will also have some rice noodles (which are not on the diet, but I'm sure I'll live) and leftover veggies from the egg rolls on Sunday.
Wednesday's Greek burger kabobs are partially a made-up idea from my husband and an idea out of a magazine. We saw a recipe this weekend in a magazine that suggested making a meatloaf and wrapping the raw meatloaf mixture on a skewer and grilling it. My husband said that he thought it would be good if you added Greek seasoning (instead of ketchup) to the mixture and then topped with the Greek Gyro yogurt stuff. (Not sure of the technical name, but you get what I'm saying."
Thursday we will need to eat up any leftovers that have acquired over the week to avoid any spoilage or tossing out of food. And Friday I'm just not sure yet. I'm holding out in case we decide to camp out or in case my husband should want to take his gorgeous wife (that would be me) out for supper. I will not hold my breath for either of those - so it may be something out of a can. : )
I originally considered the steaks for Friday but decided that Saturday would be best. Then we can use the leftovers for salads the next evening. Which I guess really would work for Friday also, but again I'm holding out for food that I don't have to make that night. Something tells me not to get my hopes up though......

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The question is….. How bad do you want the help?

Last night as I was walking through the door to our house after getting home from work, I was hit with the smell of something cooking. I saw my husband standing in the kitchen making supper – tacos, to be exact. It was a wonderful gesture. I didn’t have to ask him what he wanted for supper (since nothing ever sounds good to me) or bother fixing anything. It really was wonderful. The only “bad” thing was the cleanup. Which I can live with – even though Layne does dirty more dishes cooking 1 meal that most people do in a few days worth of meals. Would I rather he not dirty as many dishes – um yeah! But, in all fairness I love that I didn’t have to ask him to make supper or even what he wanted for supper. I figure that even if I did have to wash some extra dishes it saved at least a half hour of my time last night by me not having to cook! I bit my lip & kept any negative comments to myself. It was a nice & very welcome surprise.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Work it........

This week has just flown by! I’ve been doing good with my exercising & watching what I eat. On Monday I walked about 4 miles & Tuesday I walked about 3 miles. The days I walked I was with one of my Aunts & it was nice to walk & talk. By Wednesday though I needed a SERIOUS workout. I was actually craving it… (What is wrong with me?!?!)

Wednesday evening I got on the treadmill & walked/jogged 2 miles. When I was done with that I did 100 crunches, some arm work with a resistance band, and the cardio DVD for “Hip Hop Abs”. I’m sure you’ve all seen the infomercial for “Hip Hop Abs”. I don’t know that it is going to get my abs all nice & toned, but holy smokes is that DVD fun!! I suppose I think it’s so fun because it takes me back to my high school days when I was a cheerleader & we would work on dance routines. I really think I completely shocked my husband when I did the DVD. Of course he sat on the couch & watched me while I did the exercises. My husband & I didn’t meet until I had been out of high school for a year, so he never saw me do any dancing – other than maybe after I’d been drinking at a wedding – and of course I would just do the “white-girl shuffle” then cause I probably didn’t have very good balance. : )

My weight this morning was 131.6. I’m slowly edging to the 120 mark. It’s definitely getting harder to lose the weight. The first 10-15 pounds just “fell off” so to speak. I was originally hoping to be at 120 by the end of June. Well, obviously that time has come & gone. So now I’m shooting for the end of August. Cross your fingers………