Andddd I’m Married

20150627-DSC_5856e
What a crazy and wonderful wedding week I had! Some of my friends and family came from NY, and on our wedding day we were surrounded by some of the most important people in our lives! Some, but not all…in retrospect it might have been better to wait to get married, so people would have had more time to prepare and been able to come. Oh well…

We even had perfect weather! It was hot as hell, but that was a given considering it was the end of June in New Orleans. But that day it rained like crazy, just about everywhere except for where we were having our ceremony! Which was extremely lucky, because we had our ceremony at Audobon Park, and if it had rained the ground would have gotten all muddy and my dress would have gotten dirty!

The ceremony was beautiful. Short and sweet. We had our friend Brandon, who was with us when we met, perform the ceremony. He was a bit nervous, but he did a great job!

20150627-DSC_5848E

Dave’s son also did a great job as ringbearer! And by great job, I mean he didn’t cry during the ceremony and was cute as hell as he walked down the aisle with Dave’s sister waving, and when he brought the rings up to Dave.

20150627-DSC_5804E

After the ceremony the photographer took pictures and then we headed over to Muriel’s for our reception. (OMG. If you are ever in New Orleans, go to Muriel’s and get the Crawfish and Goat Cheese Stuffed Crepes. I had a food orgasm every time I took a bite. Soooooooo good.) The rest of the night was fun. We ate dinner, cut a cake (forgot our cake topper at home but who cares!), and even had a first dance.

20150627-DSC_1827E

After the reception, I changed into a shorter dress and we went with some friends to this dive bar that turns into a great dancing spot at night. It was so much fun. And they even had a photo booth!

photobooth all

Overall it was an amazing night. And now it’s over, and everyone has gone home, and things are back to normal – except that I’m married to a wonderful man! As of today we’re already one month in…it’s amazing how time flies. All in all, life is pretty good right now. Stay tuned…

wedding post1

Shout out to my wedding photographer, Hyuna Franklin, for giving me some of my wedding pics early so I could include them in this post! I should have the rest of them in a few weeks, so I’ll post more then. :-)

Posted in Blog, Life, Marriage, Personal, Photography, Uncategorized, Wedding | Tagged | 2 Comments

Healthy and Easy Mexican-style Chicken

cooked mexican chicken

You know what gives Mexican food that Mexican-y flavor? Cumin.

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that; I didn’t either, until one recent day when I finally watched Dave make steak nachos. There are a few other spices that are typical “Mexican spices,” such as garlic, oregano, and chili powder, but I’ve used those spices when cooking, and the food never tastes like Mexican food. So from what I can see (or taste), it’s the cumin that gives it that Mexican taste.

(Actually, I must correct myself at this point – chili powder does make my food taste like Mexican food, but since I hate spicy food, I rarely use it, and the few times I have, it’s never been more than a pinch. So I guess if you want non-spicy Mexican food, cumin is the must-have ingredient.)

Last night was the first night of my wedding diet. I made chicken with onions and peppers, and decided to Mexican it up by adding cumin and salsa. It was a REAL test of my willpower not to add sour cream. I freaking love sour cream…but I figured if I really want to lose 5 pounds in the next 12 days, I need to be strict with myself. And since it’s not humanly possible for me to add “just a little” sour cream, I forced myself to skip it altogether.

My dinner turned out pretty amazing. And I put it into my calorie counter and the whole thing was only 258 calories! So that’s good. :-)

Mexican-style Chicken

Ingredients (one serving):

  • 5 oz. piece of chicken
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 pepper
  • 1/4 cup of salsa
  • Cumin
  • garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

1. Add a bit of olive oil to separate pans and put the flames on low-medium.

2. Chop up your onion and pepper and add them to one pan, saute for a few minutes.

3. While that’s happening, sprinkle your chicken with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper (I just sprinkled a little of each).

4. Add the chicken to the other pan.

chicken and veg5. Cook until the chicken is done (I’m the worst with cooking times! I usually cook chicken for 10-15 minutes on a low-medium flame. My veggies were done before the chicken was, so I just turned the flame off and let them sit there until the chicken was done.).

6. You’re finished!

cooked mexican chicken2

Add your salsa (and sour cream, if you dare!) and mix it all around and voilà! You have Mexican-style chicken.

cooked mexican chicken with salsa

Posted in Blog, Cooking, DIet, Dieting, Food, HCG, Health, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Wedding Diet Starts Today

Diet wise, I haven’t been doing too bad lately. I’m only half a pound heavier than I was 42 days ago. (I know this because today was the first time I’ve opened my MyFitnessPal app in 42 days.) Considering I spent a week in New York and over a week in Florida, that’s actually not too bad. Even though I haven’t lost weight (which is always my goal), I’ve managed to maintain the 7-pound loss I had before I lost all motivation.

Seeing as how there are only TWELVE DAYS between now and the wedding, there’s definitely no way I’ll be able to reach my long-term goal weight, which is about 20 pounds lighter than I am now. Oh well. I’m not too upset about it, because I still look f*cking great in my dress. And that’s all that really matters, right? (I kid, I kid. Many other things matter.)

That said, I plan to be on a strict diet for the next 12 days. Except for dinner, I’m going to eat the same thing every day, to make it easy. Here it is:

  • 10 am – grapefruit
  • 12 pm – hard boiled egg
  • 3 pm – salad with turkey
  • 5 pm – string cheese
  • 7 pm – meat and vegetables

Today was the first day, and I managed to stick to it – sort of. My timing and order was a bit off. I had my egg at 1:30 before heading to the gym, I had the string cheese at 4 while I was at the supermarket, and at 6 I just ate two slices of turkey instead of a whole salad – which was good, because I didn’t add any salad dressing. So I might just do turkey slices and a vegetable instead of a full salad.

My goal is to stay under 1,000 calories per day until the wedding. Definitely doable. So far I’ve only eaten 332 calories today. And I’m not even hungry right now. The trick to sticking to a low calorie diet? Coffee. But I’m going to start cooking my dinner soon, because even though I’m not hungry NOW, I don’t want to wait until I’m starving and then stuff myself.

So yeah, that’s the plan. I’d like to drop 5 pounds in the next 12 days. I think I can do it, but we’ll see what happens.

Posted in Blog, DIet, Dieting, Exercise, Fitness, Food, HCG, Health, Life, Personal, Uncategorized, Wedding | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Wedding Planning

A lot has happened in the nearly two months (!) since I’ve posted. I came out of my funk, went to NY to visit my mom for mother’s day, spent 9 days in Florida visiting Dave’s cousin (ahhh, the perks of being able to work wherever I have an internet connection), and, saving the best for last…I got engaged!

IMG_3934

It wasn’t unexpected, of course – Dave and I have been talking about getting married since before I moved to New Orleans. And there was very little surprise when it came to the proposal – after all, I knew when he was on his way to pick the ring up, and I knew he had it when he came back home. But he was down on one knee when I walked into the bedroom, and he did ask me to marry him in the traditional sense. It was pretty cute.

So yeah, now I’m engaged and am planning a wedding…that is taking place in 2 weeks!! We’re getting married on June 27th. No, I’m not pregnant (several people have asked haha), but I would like to start trying soon. And June 27 is our two-year anniversary, so we like that date anyway.

At first we were planning to keep it fairly simple – a quick ceremony in the park followed by a dinner for very close friends and family, and then a bigger party in October when the weather is better down here (giving my people in NY more time to plan). We were figuring 15 guests for the wedding dinner, max.

But then Dave’s parents and my mom both said they would contribute to the cost of the wedding. Well. That changed things quite a bit. The guest list grew, as did our budget for everything else. After all, if we’re not paying for food and drink, what’s the harm in spending a little more on my dress?

(Which is what I did. I’m not the type to spend a lot of money on things, but this dress makes me look amazing, and the day that I was stressing over whether it was too expensive is the day we found out our parents would be chipping in. So I bought it. It’s still relatively cheap compared to other dresses out there – between the dress, alterations, the veil, accessories and shoes I’m still under $1,000. But part of me still feels guilty for spending that money for a dress I’ll wear ONCE.)

So now we’re at 28 guests. Which is still a nice small number, relatively speaking. We’re still going to have the party in October, but now our actually wedding day is shaping up to be something much nicer than we originally anticipated.

We’ve managed to get a lot done in the week and a half that we’ve actually been planning this. I’ve got my dress and accessories, he’s picked out a suit and shoes, we booked a place for the reception, we got our marriage license and wedding bands, and we got our friend ordained to perform the ceremony. The only big things left to do are hire a photographer and get a cake. Oh and flowers. And decorations for the ceremony. And rent chairs. And figure out music.

Well, we’ve got the important stuff done. The rest will hopefully just fall into place. And if not, oh well!

Posted in Blog, Life, Marriage, Personal, Uncategorized, Wedding | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

From 60 to Zero in 2.5 Seconds

It’s scary just how quickly I lost ALL of my motivation these past few weeks. Everything that I was so gung-ho about a few weeks ago – the blog, the diet, the photography – I no longer have any interest in. I’m even smoking again. Writing this blog post is a struggle, but I’m forcing myself to do it. I need to snap out of it.

My current rut was caused by a series of unfortunate events that began on April 1. First I got a computer virus. A computer virus is never good, but in the case the timing was particularly awful, because I had plans to go away for the weekend and I had A LOT to do for work in the two days before I left.

It was soooo annoying. My computer would work for about 20 minutes, then all the icons on my desktop would disappear and it would go black, and then the computer would freeze. I’d restart it and it would work fine, and then boom, 20 minutes later it would happen again. I didn’t even have time to try to figure out what the problem was. Instead, I spent the next two days working in 20 minutes spurts. I must have restarted the computer 50 times. But I got everything done.

When I woke up on Friday morning I had a cold. Or allergies. Or both, I don’t even know. Allergies are pretty new to me. I only started having them like two years ago. I didn’t even know what they were at first. One day I was complaining to my friend Di that this weird “sneezing cold” had been going on for three months, and she looked at me like I was an idiot and told me it was allergies.

Anyway, regardless of whether it was a cold or allergies, it was time to hit the road. We were going to a cabin in Mississippi with another couple. I already knew that I would be off my diet and smoking for the weekend, and I was okay with that (Haha I wasn’t just okay with it – I was excited about it).

The cabin was great. I’ll try to post about more about it some other time. It was beautiful and peaceful. But if I thought my allergies were bad in New Orleans compared to NY, holy crap, in Mississippi they were on some next level shit. It was crazy. As soon as we stepped in the cabin my allergies ramped up, and unfortunately it was like that the whole weekend. So even though I was happy to be away and managed to have some fun, I was still kinda miserable.

When we came back from Mississippi, my allergies were still terrible, I had to figure out what was wrong with my computer, I needed to get things together to file my taxes (always a stressful event for me), and then I got my period. Ughhhh. I was in a “fuck the world” mindset those few days. Fuck the diet. Fuck the gym. Give me a cigarette. I just felt really drained.

By the end of the week, things were looking up. My allergies had subsided, the computer issue was resolved (someone from my company’s IT department helped me out), my accountant filed an extension for me, and my period, well, that’s only bad on the first day. But by then the damage was done, because even though I was feeling better, I had lost all of my motivation as far as “being healthy” went. I just didn’t care. “I’m on a downward spiral,” I told Dave. I didn’t know how to snap out of it.

Today, things are a bit better. I’ve been trying to write this post for several days, so I’m a bit more motivated than I was when I wrote the first paragraph. Actually, that’s not true. I’m not more motivated, but I’m forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do in the hopes that soon I’ll actually want to do them again. I went to the gym every day, I only smoked on Tuesday night when we went out for drinks (that doesn’t count, okay?), and I haven’t cheated too bad on my diet (tortilla chips and way too many peanuts have proven to be my downfall this week). I’ve been taking this online photography class, which has forced me to take a buttload of pictures, and now I’m starting to have fun with it again.

My next priority is getting my diet back on track. I was down 8 pounds before I left for vacation, and now I’m only down 5. But I’m not stressed about it. On Monday I’ll start my diet up again full force (because diets always start on Monday). No big deal. Diet on a Monday – story of my life.

So yeah, that’s where things are at.

Posted in Blog, DIet, Dieting, Exercise, Fitness, HCG, Health, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Weekend Recap – Hogs for The Cause and GSD (Getting Sh*t Done)

What a great weekend! On Saturday I worked in the morning and then Dave, his son and I went to Hogs For The Cause. It’s basically a fundraising charity thing with live music and a TON of food vendors. All of the food had some type of pork in it. OMGGGG – everything was so delicious! I decided not think about my diet for the day. Dave and I shared lots of little foods – pork belly on steamed buns (my favorite of the day), pigskin nachos, bbq pork egg roll, a pulled pork cuban sandwich, and bacon rum cake.

IMG_3372

IMG_3374

IMG_3405

IMG_3388

IMG_3385

Mmmmm. I love food. Sigh.

Yesterday I was very productive. I worked, went to the gym, cleaned up my office/Dave’s workshop, and spent several hours reading about cameras and food photography and playing around with the camera Dave gave me two Christmases ago that I never touched until last week.

I am determined to take this food blog to the next level, and I know the only way to do that is to take amazing pictures. Unfortunately I don’t know a thing about photography other than what I’ve read on the internet – which is a lot, actually, considering I’ve been reading about food photography and food blogs for a few years now. But all the reading in the world hasn’t done me any good, because I haven’t applied any of it! I just need to get out there and start taking pictures.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I cleaned out the office because that’s where my “studio” is going to be. Later on we’re going to go to Home Depot for wood and paint and stain so I can create “tabletops” and make backgrounds for these food photos. I have an online photography class starting next week, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading so I can get a head start and at least be familiar with the basics. I’m really excited about this. It’s nice to have a new hobby!

I haven’t done my Monday weigh in yet. I’m waiting until I poop so I’ll be a little lighter. I have no idea what the effect of Saturday’s pork binge will be, but I hardly ate anything yesterday so hopefully it’ll balance out. Fingers crossed!

Some pics I took yesterday while playing around with my camera’s settings:

IMG_0724IMG_0727

 

 

 

 

IMG_0751 IMG_0757 IMG_0766 IMG_0748

Posted in Blog, DIet, Dieting, Exercise, Fitness, Food, Health, Life, Personal, Photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Diet Update – Week 4: Finally seeing progress

First: I PROMISE that this blog isn’t going to be only diet updates! I’ve just been really busy with work and haven’t been doing much other than work and gym. I do have a few recipes I want to post, but I’m stuck at the point of taking pictures. I never think my pictures look good enough. But I am taking steps to remedy that – I bought a Groupon for an online photography class! Hopefully that will help.

With that said…

I weighed myself on Monday and I’m pleased to report that I’ve lost a total of 8 pounds so far! That averages to 2 pounds a week, which from what I’ve read is a healthy rate of weight loss. My problem is that when I did those HCG drops I was losing FIVE pounds a week. So even though 2 pounds a week is good, it feels like it’s taking forever! But whatever, I’m still pleased with my progress. Mostly.

This was the first week where I was able to visibly see my progress. I can’t specify where I look thinner, but I was studying myself in the wall-to-wall mirror in my salsa class and I just look a little bit slimmer in the midsection, between my knees and boobs. So that made me happy.

I finally added weight training to my workouts. When I first started back at the gym my plan had been to do a half hour of weight training and a half hour on either the arc trainer or treadmill. But then I did something to my hip during salsa class back in February and the treadmill hurt and I was scared to do lower body. So instead I’ve just been doing an hour on the arc trainer every day.

But Dave convinced me to start weight training again. He started a new workout/diet last week, some 21 day shred thing, and he wrote me up the woman’s version so I could do it at the gym. So for the past 4 days I’ve been doing an hour on the arc trainer followed by 30-40 minutes of weight training. That’s a lot of time to be spending at the gym, but right now my work schedule is flexible enough that I can actually do it. So I might as take advantage of that while I can.

Posted in Blog, DIet, Dieting, Exercise, Fitness, Food, HCG, Health, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment