I have just been feeling so overwhelmed these past few days due to my lack of enthusiasm for Christmas shopping. Normally, I'm not the type of chick to execute without a plan but I did just that two days ago and wasted damn near an entire day.

I was running around from store to store trying to collect Christmas list items and coming up empty at every angle.  If they weren't completely out of stock, they were out of the size that I needed and that went on at store, after store, after store.    I came home feeling defeated and worn out!.  I did, however, manage to have some luck  online with free one-day shipping so that took the edge off a little bit.

I decided I needed to regroup and execute a plan before I hit the trenches yesterday and Thank God it paid off.  I was able to find everything that I couldn't find the previous day and guess what?  All of the stores were located in the same general area so no running back and forth.    Yayy!!  I can finally relax, relate, and release somewhat.  ;)  

I still have one more gift to get for my mom, the woman who doesn't like anything and who has already told me not to get her anything because she isn't  too enthused about Christmas.  (I get that same spiel every year from her so I'm used to it by now)  Gift cards are out of the question, tried that once and she hated it!!  She was looking at boots the other day and I thought about getting some for her but can't find her size anywhere.  I'm really at a loss here.   I'm going to ask my Aunt and see what she thinks my mom would like...hopefully we'll come up with something  and then I will finally be able to Wooosahhh.....breathe girl breathe!

Getting it right,

Procrastinators Unite!!!! .................................Tomorrow

Am I the only person who hasn't even begun to do any Christmas shopping yet?  Come on procrastinators....speak up.

I always seem to wait until the last minute to start my shopping. I don't know what it is but Christmas shopping is not something that I particularly enjoy.I think it is because I never have any idea what to get.  My mother never likes anything that I get for her but she gets offended when I get her a gift card or something so she can pick out whatever it is she wants.  Usually I go with clothes... that she ends up never wearing.  Last year I got her a purse which she misplaced and hasn't been able to find since the day she unwrapped it.

 The kids have no problem telling me what they want.  Ugg boots, North Face jacket, Cell phone ( to replace the blackberry that got stolen earlier in the year) laptop( to replace broken netbook)  clothes, beats by dr dre headphones, new ipod with a camera( despite the fact the ipod touch they received two years ago are still perfectly fine)video games, video games and more video games.

LOL  they must think mom is made of money or something. I told them they could get one thing and one thing only. I really haven't decided which items I will get from the list but I do know that I am running out of time. The fact that one still believes in Santa makes it all the more difficult. Who wants a jolly fat man receiving all the credit?

Maybe I'll try to do something tomorrow.  I haven't even gotten my tree up yet..I know... I'm pitiful.

On the weight loss front, the good news is that I've been working out fairly consistently. Since my post about taking my first Zumba class, I have since taken two more classes with the same instructor.

I still find it fun and I'm not really sure how it works but I am a little tired of the routines. The class that I took yesterday was supposed to be something called "Latin Heat" that I wanted to try out but it turned out to be a Zumba class(the shedule was wrong)   The three times that I've taken the class, we did the same routine, to the same music all three times...Is this how Zumba classes usually work?   Shouldnt they switch it up a bit or at least change the music?  I don't know...Saturday I plan to again take the class but this time it will be with a different instructor.

Getting it right,

In The Kitchen: Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

I am always a little hard-pressed to come up with ideas for dinner. we usually have the same things every week aside from the few TV dinners ( do they still say that?  haha)I throw in here and there.

One of my passions is watching the food network so I told myself that I was going to try to cook more whole foods and lay off the fast foods and prepackaged meals.   I came across this recipe' when looking for something relatively healthy, quick and easy to make.  Normally, I like a sauce with my pasta so I really didn't know what to expect with this recipe.  I really enjoyed it and It turned out rather well although I do plan on tweaking it a bit the next time I make it.

2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
cooking spray
1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
kosher salt and fresh pepper
8 oz spaghetti (high fiber or low carb) I used Ronzoni Smart Taste
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Season chicken with salt,pepper,oregano and basil. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, spray with oil and add chicken. Cook 3-4 min, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.


Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.

 While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with good grated cheese.

The Damage: ;)

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 5.5 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 329.7 • Fat: 6.8 g • Carb: 48.3 g • Fiber: 7.2 g • Protein: 25.0 g

Tweaks and do overs:

I'm quite sure that I mentioned I am not an exact follower of recipes.  I don't need to have exact measurements and things...I like to eyeball my ingredients but in this case it may have come back to bite me in the azz .

First of all, I didn't have any grape tomatoes on hand and was not about to run to the grocery store to get some so I improvised with some beautiful tomatoes on the vine  I already had on hand.  (I'm not kidding these tomatoes are gorgeous)..anyway, I didn't want to use them all in this recipe so I used about 5 and cut them into fourths.  As you can tell from the pic, I didn't have nearly enough tomatoes.  I also think that I  may have used too much pasta even though I added it into the dish on an as needed basis.

I'm also a sucker for pretty colors so I think the next time I make this, I will also try to add a variety different colored veggies.  maybe some green, red and yellow bell pepper.  The fresh basil added a pretty green color ( and the basil tasted amazing) but I need more...more color I say!

 I also decided to fore-go the cheese because all I had was the canned stuff and a recipe like this called from fresh Parmesan.

If you decide to try this... leave a comment letting me know how it turns out.

Getting it right,

I Attended my first "Real" Zumba Class!

 I had the opportunity to try out my first Zumba class  on Saturday.  I love, love, love Zumba!  I have the DVD's,(Exhilerate and Zumba Fitness) and the Zumba game.
About the class, it started at 8:30 ( or at least it was supposed to) so when I arrived at about 8:20, I was fine until I saw that they were already in action.  Me and and another lady were looking at each other like WTF?  I asked the desk attendant if it starts at 8: 30 and she says yes as she looks over and sees them already moving and grooving.  Anyway, I  join in the class.

The instructor was a ball of energy. I mean there was no stopping this chick and she had a body to die for....she was ripped.  Since there were only a few of us first timers in attendance, she really didn't take the time to go over the moves (we just had to get in where we fit in...lol) aside from this one move that consisted of some really quick, fancy footwork.   She said people ususally have a hard time with that specific step so she walked us through the basics.    There were still a great deal of people in the class who couldn't quite master it but that was okay.

I really enjoyed myself and had so much fun.  Rhythymless, two left feet, it didn't matter..everyone was there having fun but I  do fancy myself quite the Zumba chick if I do say so myself.  I found the moves rather easy to do and was already familiar with a lot of them from the tapes.  The only problem that I did have was doing a few of the turns because you had to do them quickly and my shoes kept slipping and sliding on the floor where we were dancing which I did not expect.

When it was over, the instructor admitted to starting the class 15 minutes early because she was filling in for the regular instructor and she had a class immediately after that she taught at another gym.  She teaches a class tonight at 7:00 so that is the plan as of now.  I skipped the gym this morning because I want to take her Zumba class again so we'll see how that goes.  I'm a morning person and normally, if I don't workout in the morning, I won't workout at all so we'll see how this evening's switcheroo turns out...ya'll pray for me!!  lol

Oh yeah, I'll be back later with my weekly round-up.

Getting it right,

GAME REVIEW: UFC Trainer for X-Box 360 Kinect

I have been eying this game  ever since I first spotted it at Sam's Club.  I didn't want to pay the $49.99 that this game costs so I decided to look for it online to see if I could find it cheaper.  After having missed a few opportunities to get it on sale for $39.99  I finally lucked up on Black Friday.   I ended up purchasing this game from Amazon for $24.99 and the best thing about it besides free shipping was the fact that there was NO TAX!!  Score one for me...;)

It arrived fairly quickly and I let it sit for a few days before I decided to give it a go.  I really had no expectations from this game other than  the fact that it would give me a good work-out.  Tuesday was my first attempt at doing this workout.  When you first start the game, it asks for you gender, weight, height and age.   ( I was really hoping that it would have a way to keep track of your weight and BMI ala Wii fit. With the balance board you  just stand on the board and it can detect your weight and calculate your BMI  putting you in a weight category anywhere from normal to obese. It would be nice to have something like this for this game as well.

After adding my stats, I was ready to workout or so I thought.  Next, I had to complete a fit test which consisted of push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks and squats.  (FYI sit-ups are not my strong suit...Crunches I can do but sit-ups?  Do they still do those?  haha)  Anyway, after that I was finally told to choose a workout.  You have the choice of daily workout in which you choose one of four trainers to train you, Fitness games which consists of the tire flip ( we'll get to that later), puching and kicking , heavy bag and some others and finally workout programs with a concentration on specific goals...weight loss, muscle building, endurance, etc.

I chose to do a 30 day challenge focusing on weightloss or weight cutting as they call it.  Since the results of my fit test classified me as a beginner, I was expecting the game to go easy on me...WRONG!  The warm-up consisted of arm circles, balance knee lifts, high kicks as a hamstring stretch and mountain climbers...yes, you read right MOUNTAIN FREAKING CLIMBERS!

I finished the "warm-up" and was ready to go. We started off with ab work....lying leg lifts, ab work...bicycles, and more ab work..V-ups.  Ummm... excuse me but since when did V-ups become a beginner ab exercise? I did what I could and then it was on to punching which I really enjoyed.  The trainer held mitts and I had to do a series of right and left jabs at his prompting.  Fun, fun fun!

Next we moved on to side lunges and squats( something else I hate)  not only did they have me doing regular squats but immediately after, I had to do squats and hold them for a certain amount of time.  I was really looking forward to this workout being over and that's when it happened..the game froze.

I gave it the benefit of the doubt and allowed time for it to correct itself but I ended up having to turn it off in order to get  it working again.  I was pissed when I went to continue my workout and found that all of my progress had been lost. Not one record of anything I had done up to that point and worse yet, in order for me to move on, I had to re-do all of the exercises I had just done....squats, abs and all.  Are they crazy?  I chalked it up as a loss and decided to play some games so I clicked on the tire flip. While the game is loading, I'm talking smack about how easy this is going to be.  I mean how can they have you flipping a virtual tire and it not be easy?..Needless to say I ended up getting 1 flip out of 10.  In my defense, I think it was due to my form or my not knowing or understanding what they would have me to do..I do know that whatever it was included some more dayum squats.  lol

By then I was done so I put the game away and revisited it again yesterday. New day new start right.  I was determined to do this challenge so this time I chose a 60 day challenge, again focusing on weight loss.  The first  workout consisted of the EXACT SAME WORKOUT I DID THE OTHER DAY. I was kind of upset but like a trooper I mustered up the energy and completed the workout.  This time  everything was saved and  your girl was a happy camper.  I could review the graphs for the various body parts that I worked that day and yes, day one was complete.

Fast forward to today, I'm ready for day two and when I click on my workout calendar, I am unable to click on today's workout because it says you have already finished today's workout.  I figure it's  an issue with the time setting on the X-box or maybe I need to wokout at the same time everyday, who knows?  I didn't fancy it a big deal so I decided to do a daily workout instead.  I choose my trainer and I'm ready to get moving. He too has me starting with the same warm-up as the previous day ( I hope this isn't the only warm-up routine they use, I haven't used it enough to be able to tell just yet)  I choose upper body as a focus and we start off with push-ups.  Okay I can do this!!!  I knocked them out and we move on to one kneed punches ( don't really know what they were called but you kneel on one knee and punch downward while twisting your torso)  I knocked those out too and then came the dayum bear crawl.  Did he really expect me to stand up straight bend at the waist with straight knees) and touch the floor so I can crawl with my hands outward to plank position and then walk my hands back in to a standing position?  Do they really expect for me to do this?  I winged my way through it (ie fake it until I make it)and then the dayum thing froze again.  Had to reboot and not only was all of my progress lost again, but yesterday's workout that I was able to save was missing too!  You have got to be kidding me!  I am so pissed I decided to write this review as well as shoot off an email to the makers of this game.

I really do think that this is a great game and you can get a really good quality gym work-out (complete with sweating, huffing, puffing and grunting).. but this freezing up and loosing progress prevents me from being able to recommend this game.  It's great if you don't mind this type of thing but I love to track my progress and see how I'm doing.  I did a little googling and learned that this issue is not unique to just myself.  Many have had the same problem and while there are some make-shift fixes ( save it to HD and if you don't have an HD TV, then go out and buy one... I mean really, who comes up with this advice? ) I'd rather have the company put forth a concerted effort to work out the bugs.  I'll update if and when I hear  back from the makers.

Getting it right,

Wordless Wednesday

Getting it right,

Weekly recap

 So far so good.  Last week went surprisingly well.  I managed to work out  4 days this week.  I can't remember whether or not I worked out on Monday so I'm going with four.

I mainly used the Precor machine and the treadmill.  I mentioned my dizzy spells and "lightheadedness" so I didn't push myself too hard.  I kept it rather light and only did about 35 minutes on the machines but I still managed to work up a  pretty good sweat.

                            The Precor machine                                       I even worked up a sweat

As far as my eating goes, that was a total bust..not because I went overboard but because I didn't track my meals nor did I limit myself  as far as the types of food that I was eating go.

Really, I find that to be the hardest thing for me.  I KNOW  that I need to change my diet in order to have the kind of successful weight loss that I am determined to have,  I just can't seem to stick with this diet or "lifestyle" change  mentality as it pertains to my eating.

I really do not eat a lot, sometimes only 2 meals ( if you can call a boiled egg and a few slices of turkey breast a meal) a day.  I should just track what I eat in a normal day and then  come up with a plan from there.  We'll see.

This week, I plan to add in weight training.  I know that this is crucial to my losing weight and I really actually prefer weight training to cardio.  I have quite a few weightlifting workouts that I can do at home as well as the option to use the machines at the gym.  We'll see how it goes but the plan is to alternate cardio days with weight training days in sort of a Body for Life style set-up.

I also plan to work on my water intake.  I normally drink a lot of water but switched to orange juice in an attempt to get over this cold.  Now I need to get my taste buds re-acclimated to the taste ( or lack there of) of water again, so I'm going to drink at least 64 oz. a day this week.

I'm also going to try to keep track of an entire day's food intake for at least 2 days which I think is a pretty lofty goal for me.  Tracking really isn't so much the problem as is getting the accurate amounts of what I'm eating.  I have a digital food scale that is great but I'm not always able to weigh every morsel that comes into contact with my mouth.

Say I have a few chips here and there (I know, I know I should not be eating chips but it's my reality) or a bowl of home made soup from my mother...   there is no way to possibly log the amount accurately and that is the crux of my problem.    I can guess as to the amounts but then is that really an accurate depiction of my calories.  le sigh...   I'll get there!

Getting it right,

Fried CHicken WIngs

I've had the opportunity to have fried chicken wings from a Chinese Restaurant on a couple of occasions and I've always found them to be quite flavorful and tasty.  So imagine my surprise when I came across the recipe' for chicken wings from a Chinese take out spot.  I made them on Saturday and while they looked delicious, they weren't as flavorful as I imagined they would be although I could taste the garlic. ( I suppose the lack of flavor could be attributed to the fact that I may have  had more chicken than I had marinade Since I let them marinate for 2 days lol) I plan to make them again and tweak the recipe a bit to make them more flavorful.

1 1lb. chicken wings, middle section and/or drummettes (wing dings)

1  3 inch piece fresh ginger peeled
2 TBS soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1TBS oyster sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch

1. Rinse the chicken wings in cold water, pat dry

2. Make the marinade by grating the ginger, squeezing to extract the juices. Discard pulp.  Mix in remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.  Pour the marinade over the wings and marinate over night.

3. The next day, combine ingredients for coating, and dredge chicken in the  coating mixture, making sure they are evenly coated.  Shake off the excess.

4. Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil ( enough to deep-fry)   Gently drop the chicken into  the hot oil and deep-fry in batches.

5.  Deep-fry the wings until they turn a light golden brown ( making sure the inside is thoroughly cooked)  Dish out wings with a strainer or slotted spoon , draining the oil by laying the wings on a wire rack or paper towel.  Serve immediately.

Getting it right,