Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Random Tuesday Stuff



 I wish I was at home now.  My husband just sent me this photo of all the dogs laying on the couch and it looks so cozy and inviting!
But of course, once I get home, it will be crazy and loud.  The dogs will all jump up and go crazy until they have all had lots of attention from me.  Then the questions will start:  When is dinner, what's for dinner, I don't like meat, can I have ice cream instead?   On and on....
I think I am making "meatza" tonight!  That is a giant beefy "crust" with tons of pizza toppings smothering it!  Sadly, we will not be having pepperoni.  I read the ingredients of the last pack and was HORRIFIED!  Seriously, they pump it full of poison to keep it fresh and colorful (BHA and BHT). And nitrates.  

My latest book to read is "The Lake of Dreams" by Kim Edwards.  It's "not bad" but it's not the best.  It is a little slow.  It could be the fact that I just got "How to be an American Wife" from the library and have been waiting for it anxiously for a while and want to jump right on it!  I do not like to leave books half finished, though.    The American Wife book is by Margaret Dilloway, who I just love!  She needs to write more, though....  she has only written 2 books so far.  
Maybe I will get time to read tonight!
 


I just found a few new blogs that I will be following.  In case any of you are interested in Paleo/Primal/Lowish Carb eating, check them out!  (I am more Primal than Paleo....  I adore CHEESE!  and I try to keep low carb, the only thing that works for me).

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/
http://buttoni.wordpress.com/
http://cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com/
http://www.delightedmomma.com/
http://faithfulnessfarm.blogspot.com/
http://nomnompaleo.com/

That is all I can remember for now!


Just for fun......
This is the tattoo that I am planning on getting soon. 


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring has sprung!

It is time to get outside! At least here in the southwest........ I am itching to get outside and start planting, but first I have to work on post winter clean up. Today will be pulling weeds galore. Time to empty the porch and clean it up too, as well as get the barbecue ready to fire up. Just so I don't get too bored with cleaning, I will plant a few herbs that I have set aside and prune some roses. Everything is so green! Sadly, it only lasts a few months before the yard starts getting baked. I also need to take a trip to home depot and look for fencing, as last year, every time something wold be ready to pick, the dogs would discover it and take a bite! Seriously, I have found more half eaten tomatoes and zucchinis than I collected for us to eat! Stinkers. I have had kale growing throughout the winter, too..... Was going to pick the last bunch and guess what? The dogs ATE it! What dog eats kale?! So, picket fence time. And maybe some barbed wire.

I am proud of my boys. My youngest is at a big boy scout competition this weekend. I hope they won some awards! I am mostly glad that he is outside and away from video games for a while. Boy, he will be filthy when he gets home. They never seem to change their clothes on campouts! Yuck. My oldest spent all day yesterday at leadership training.... Apparently, he actually got to train some adults! Wow. He said it was easy, because they pay more attention than kids! After a full day training, he rushed home, put on his suit and tie and many ribbons and was off to the ROTC ball! He looked so handsome and could have easily passed for an adult. Kind of scary.

I was able to wash 3 Boston's this morning.... That was all I could catch. I may or may not wash phoebe.... She is the cleanest usually. Now they are scattered around the house taking naps.


Well, have a peaceful Sunday. I am skipping yoga because I still keep coughing and don't want to disrupt the class. I will get plenty of exercise outside in the sun!





Friday, March 22, 2013

Oh, I NEVER get sick!

I guess I forgot to knock wood when I said "I never get sick"!

Because now I am sick. No amount of echinacea or zinc or booze kept his one at bay. But seriously, I have not been sick in years!! I entirely blame my coworker, he kept coming in to the office just to cough and sneeze, it seemed. Like he just wanted me to know he was sick. Sadly, I had to go to work the last 2 days because I am the manager and nobody knows how to do my job. I did get off work early enough to feel like a real mom and picked my kids up from school! That is a complete rarity....
Speaking of feeling like a real mom.... Sometimes I wish I was a stay at home mom. I get so jealous when I see my SAHM friends post that they watched a movie or went hiking or took a nap! Oh my god, a nap?! My hubby is a stay at home dad... He works from home.... So not fair. If I was home, everything would be clean and shiny, I would cook even MORE! He works a little.... And relaxes. And I still come home from work, make dinner 5 or 6 times a week. And I do laundry.... Like for real, meaning I put it away! That is the hardest part of doing laundry, I think! At least in modern times. Using a washboard would suck. I'm the scrubber of bathrooms, washer of dishes, cleaner of the carpets, duster of all and do all outside yard work. Which I do enjoy.... But I get a bit (!) annoyed when "someone" complaints that the living room is dusty or his pants aren't clean. Sigh.... Okay, rant is over, I feel a little better now.

I just finished a great book.... "Flirting with Pete" by Barbara Delinsky. It was a great book! A few bits were rushed at the end, but overall very good! I finished it on my lunch break and should have seen the sad part coming towards the end and waited to read it at home. But alas... I started CRYING and this is never good. I get VERY red when I cry, my eyes stay glassy for hours and my mascara disappears. (that's bad since I only have eyelashes when I have mascara on, otherwise they are invisible). But today I was in luck. Since I have been sneezing and coughing all day and my mascara was gone since 9am, nobody noticed! Phew!

I have not cooked a single thing since Monday! This is a long streak! Partly because I felt like crap, partly because I did not want to infect anybody. I got some lovely BBQ rib things from Fresh n Easy yesterday. They also had a great dip, feta cucumber and dill. I almost put I back when I saw the dill, it isn't my favorite flavor, you see. But since it was on a super sale, I got I anyway and I am glad I did! The dill was very subtle and the veggie chips went great with it.

The Boston babies are doing superbly. I was sitting here on my bar stool reading and eating leftover carne asada fries (an example of my husband corrupting my diet, dammit)! and I was completely surrounded by beseeching bulging eyes! I gave them each a few fries.... No biggie, they are grain free. But that only made it worse, they got closer and closer, their whines got louder and more drawn out, like they were singing! I finally just tossed the rest and told them to scram! They are all now sitting on top of my hubby in the other room. They are not even looking at me. I feel that they are disappointed with me, quite frankly. Well, they will be even more disappointed this weekend, as I am going to give them all baths! Hahaha (this is an evil witch cackle)!

Well, I have had enough wine to make my throat feel less scratchy, and to make it harder to type (hard to type on an iPad anyway). So, have a great weekend! I hope somebody is reading this!

Good night!

Enjoy the puppy in a bowl photo!



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hollywood!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

 We have a tradition of going to see new movies up at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. They always put on a magnificent show! Yesterday we invited some friends to go with us and saw "Oz the Great and Powerful". It was so much fun!! All 6 of the kids had a great time! It was also fun to walk up and down Hollywood Blvd looking at the cool stores and weird people. We stopped in at Snow White Cafe, like we always do, for the burgers and gigantic beers! I was NOT low carb yesterday!

I have to say that it am very proud of how well the dogs did in our long absence. We had to separate them due to some "personality conflicts"! Bassets in the side yard, three Boston's in the back yard and Jinx inside..... Jinx did not have a single accident! The dogs outside were all in one piece! Boy did they all cling to us all night, though. They are good dogs! Today we will hear if they barked a lot..... I'm sure some neighbor will say something! But when we got home, the dog across the street was barking and ours were all quiet..... Cool!

One of the reasons we got home so late was because of the "quest for Arby's". We had coupons for the new corned beef Reuben's.... St. Patrick's special. I felt a little carsick looking so hard for an Arby's sign along the freeway. We finally found one after 90 miles! And they were open at 11:30! Phew. Those sandwiches were so good! And I am not a huge fan of Arby's, so this was a great surprise. Today we will have corned beef all over again!   I am making my special baked corned beef recipe.








Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lazy Evening

I am so grateful for evenings like this.....   I was very much into my book today and almost hated to come home and have to do the usual cooking and dishes and what-not.....

But lucky me!  My husband was busy busy working on his computer, my eldest had a meeting to go to with transportation provided (yay!) and my youngest reminded me that he hates meat.  So,the "meat" will just sit in the crockpot and I shall just stand here leaning against the counter with a little seltzer and read to my hearts content!

I actually like standing for 2 reasons;  I sit all freaking day and I know that it is detrimental to my health, and also because there is some unwritten strange law that says "as soon as mom sits down and relaxes for a second, all hell shall break loose".  The dogs will want to go out, the kids will want help with something and my other half will want to talk about politics!

The crockpot meal came out superbly, by the way....  If indeed that is a word.  I put in a huge shoulder of pork, a half bottle of  Stubbs BBQ marinade (lowest carb BBQ sauce ever, and super good!) and some black soy beans.  And a ton of various spices and some tangy mustard....  It tastes very very good!  I have mixed feelings about soy beans... Some people say soy is awesome, some say it's the devil!  I say, they are so freaking low carb that I will occasionally use them, like once every month or 2.  Seriously, I do not think it will hurt in that small of an increment,  and it is nice for my family so that they do not feel so deprived!

I am having the best time reading my newest book..."Captive Daughter, Enemy Wife".  I have to say I do not care for the title.  For some reason, it sounds like a bodice ripper!  But I am 3/4 done and there have been no bodices ripped.... but it is sooooo good that I think I will be up until I finish it tonight. Please, don't anybody interrupt me or request my presence!

The Boston's are all doing superbly....  Nothing noteworthy, so I will leave them alone and not try to take a photo.  Goodnight, Boston's!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Doggy Bonanza!

Just a little fun bit.......   When one of us is lazing around and all 4 dogs decide to climb aboard, we call it doggy bonanza. It is like winning the lottery! You can be just sitting there minding your own business and suddenly realize that you are either surrounded or smothered by all 4 little guys! When it happens, one is required to shout out "doggy bonanza"!

My eldest fell asleep on the couch (this is a few months ago) and was invaded by Boston's! Can YOU see all 4? Look at all the photos.





There are 2 (and a partial..... )


There's 3.....


And there is where #4 is hiding!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day!

I am so lucky to live where it is warm!  It will be 75 - 80 degrees today, and it is only March.  There are all sorts of trees blooming with pink and white flowers on the way to work.  I love it!

So I heard on the news that a 7 year old boy was suspended for shaping his breakfast pastry into a gun shape.  Are you kidding?!?  That is totally crazy!  Suspended??  My kids have been toy gun enthusiasts since they were toddlers!  Cowboy cap guns, more Nerf guns that can fit into the closet, Star Wars guns.... There have been many evenings where all of the neighborhood boys (and the occasional girl) all got together for a huge hide n' seek and shoot!!  My youngest would even make guns, shields and elaborate body armor out of cardboard and duct tape!  I think it is perfectly natural for boys to behave this way.   I do try to make sure they all look suitably fake or toy-like. 

One of many suits of cardboard armor and a Star Wars gun!
Jinx is doing better after he was beat up.  His arm swelled up pretty big for a while, now it is back to normal and I can barely see where he was bitten.  He is still shaking and giving me pitiful looks just to milk it for all it's worth, though!  Especially if I am in the kitchen near the snack jar!  


Jinx attempting to fit inside a puppy bed!


 So, no new cooking stories today.  Last night we went to Hometown Buffet....  I think they have gone downhill!  Many trays were mostly emptied and never refilled, just dried out and gross.  They advertise "steaks", but what there is is ONE steak at the carving station and you get a slice of it.  Dumb!!  The dessert section was nothing like it use to be.  Very little variety, the chocolate ice cream was empty, there was only one sugar free option (there use to be several) and they stopped serving chopped peanuts!  Ooooh, someone might have an allergy so we all get to suffer.  Thanks! They could at least offer them in little pouches, like some places, to avoid contamination.  My vanilla ice cream was very dull.  And to top it off, the coffee dispenser ran out!!!   Bad ending to a dismal meal.  That is the last time we go there (not that we did very often anyway).
No cooking tonight, Boy Scout night!  But I forgot to take something out of the freezer for the crock pot.  I am a bad mom.  Well, I have all day to figure out a fast dinner, I guess!

Books.....  today I am reading a book by a local woman.  
It is called "Captive Daughter, Enemy Wife" by Mary Tweedy.
It is about a young Indian (Native American) that is captured by another tribe and becomes the wife of one of the braves.  I was not sure what to expect, but I starts off very well written and interesting!   I like books about "the Olden Days!"

Happy Day!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Boston trouble and Sunday work

Troubles in Boston paradise.

Phoebe use to be the bad girl..... For some reason she was always jumping on Hector, our giant Bassett, and beating the tar out of him! No bites, but plenty of snarling and intimidation. She hasn't done it for a few months, luckily.
However, the newest problem is Hercules, the giant puppy, has recently started picking fights with his dad, Jinx! Jinx is only 16 pounds, half his sons size. Not good. Today I had to separate them (out in the bramble bushes, lots of fun there) and Jinx has a nice big bite on his arm now. I cleaned and wrapped it up, but my little guy is limping! Poor Jinx. Now we have to be careful who we let outside together, which is a pain. They only fight when they are outside.

Most of today was spent pulling weeds and trying to mow the muddy weedy side yard. No fun story here! But I DID make to yoga, so I have aches all over. But good aches.

I made super good sugar free almond flour chocolate chunk muffins! Yum! I cannot remember where I got the recipe, but it's a keeper, unlike so many other odd tasting experiments. Instead of chocolate chips, I get a sugar free chocolate bar from trader joes and chop that up into it.

Boston photo at the bottom: Jinx is upper left, Herc is lower right.







Saturday, March 9, 2013

A relaxing Saturday...somewhat!

This is my first time posting from my iPad!
I went round and round trying to upload photos, but it just wouldn't work! But then I found that blogger has an app! Yay, now I can add photos! However, I cannot choose font colors or center my text. Also, I can only get the photos to show up at the bottom of the post instead of where I want them. I can't add text to them either. O well, it's better than turning on the old computer and transferring photos that way. I have become extremely lazy since getting a iPad, and my computer has gotten very dusty!

It was a unusual Saturday morning. Instead of sleeping in until 6AM (late for me). I had to get up at the usual weekday 4:30 AM to bring my older son to an ROTC function. He is the photographer. (following in his dads footsteps). So, did the usual chores, went shopping (Costco parking lots was horrible, too much traffic everywhere! I think southern California has gotten beyond its capacity). Then my youngest and I had a fun afternoon with the boy scouts. We went down to camp to welcome 7 new boys to the troop.... Ryan had a blast because a lot of the boys are his buddies that are a year behind him and he will get to see them more often now! Boy Scouts Rock!! My oldest is working on Eagle.

So now I am back home relaxing. Listening to my husband scream bloody murder at his video game.... I think it's Call of Duty. After years of telling the boys to NOT shout at video games, he is now the king of screaming. Needless to say, they do not get in trouble for that anymore! However, they have never screamed like their dad. Ever!

So bookwise, I finished Out of my Mind.... OMG it was Such a great book!!! Great ending too. Now I am on to Safe Haven by N Sparks..... I know it is coming out as a movie and always try to read it first and then compare. The worst book to movie, in my opinion, was Under the Tuscan Sun. They BUTCHERED it!!! I mean, the movie was good, but it sooo wasn't the book!

Food wise..... Making a boring dinner tonight. Ryan really likes spaghetti, so it's his night! I use Dreamfields pasta.... Only 5 carbs per serving. I must have looked at 20 jars of sauce before I found one without sugar!! Ragu is the worst... Tons of sugar! Blech. Saturday nights I try to relax a bit and hopefully take a bubble bath, so I am NOT making homemade sauce! I do need to concoct some kind of garlic bread,though..... Without wheat. Maybe flax focaccia. With tons of cheese! I love cheese!

Last night was an epic one, food wise.. I finally made my cheddar and ham stuffed chicken wrapped in bacon! It came out really juicy. I do not want to talk about my eggplant..... I didn't have the heat high enough and it got all mushy and gross.... We had salad instead.


This morning I heard my Phoebe (Mama Boston) whining nonstop.... I figured she really had to go out! I ran over to open the door and discovered she was staring laser beams into the doggie cookie jar. She looked at me, then at the jar, and whined. Repeat.... She sure like her cookies, the little fatty! We call her laser because she has a piercing stare that she uses to her best advantage! Here is a photo of her laser beams, and my chicken!







Friday, March 8, 2013

Tea and books

Yesterday I finished the book "The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns" by Margaret Dilloway.  It was a really great book!  I just picked it randomly off the shelf at the library....  sometimes that backfires, but not this time!  It was about a woman with kidney failure that "breeds" roses and is waiting for a kidney.  It doesn't SOUND interesting, but it was!!    So now I have just started "Out of my mind" by Sharon Draper.  It is SUPER!    It is all about a little girl with cerebral palsy, she cannot walk, talk or even move a whole lot.  The story is told from the girl's perspective and I feel her frustration so deeply!  She is brilliant but everybody thinks of her as "retarded".  It is so good, I could not put it down last night!!  

Speaking of last night, I was really looking forward to making ham and cheese stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in bacon.  I was denied!  I was informed right before I left work that they had gone to Chinese buffet instead.  Oh well, I will look forward to it tonight instead!!  It DID give me the opportunity to read for a few hours, though!!  Always good!

Tea.  I have really been getting into teas lately!  I recently discovered Matcha, (from Lindsay at "Delighted Mamma" blog) which is the ground up leaf of green tea and is VERY healthy!  Instead of just drinking the infusion of tea, you are actually ingesting the leaf itself, and is like green tea on crack!  I have also been randomly picking out tea at the Vietnamese market (I like being random..  books, tea, weird food).  I have tried Artichoke tea (great detoxifying tea) which is velvety and rich tasting.  I've tried all the basics,  green, oolong, jasmine, chamomile, and the scary "dieters slim tea" (scary because it turns out to be a laxative!).  Yesterday I picked out "Bojenmi" Chinese tea.  This morning I looked it up and to my delight, it is said to help with weight loss, help with blood pressure,  bad breath and strangely it helps with "erosion of the lip and tongue"!!  Huh???  Well, thats good, I guess... if I chewed tobacco!  
 



















I am drinking some right now....  a tad bitter, so next cup I will add stevia.  
I am reassured that I will avoid any nasty lip erosion!!!  

By the way, I mentioned the Delighted Momma Blog above...  she has the BEST blog!!!  So many recipes, excellent natural beauty care advice,  and lots of crafty stuff.  I am not a bit crafty, but the food and skincare is fun to read!  My other favorite blogs are Nieniedialogs written by Stephanie Nielsen.... she was in a terrible plane crash with her husband and almost died.  She was severely burnt over 85% of her body and now has the most positive happy blog!  She wrote a book about it too  "Heaven is Now".  I HIGHLY recommend this book.  I also like "MargaretDilloway, AmericanHousewife" blog, by the lady that wrote one of the books above.  It is a fun blog!  I just love blogs!  I sometimes wish I could stay home all day and read them.

Here are some random pictures of my Bostons!
My beautiful dainty Luna (and Mr. Bill)

Sweet scaredycat Jinx (I love his shiny little lip!)

The mighty Hercules (he is HUGE for a Boston!)

Phoebe AKA the Boss!  She is guarding the tree.
 So, maybe next time I will post pictures of my human kids!!

 








Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hello Cyber World!

Hello!

Well, here I am, writing a blog.   I absolutely LOVE reading blogs but only recently started to think about writing one.  

Books, Bites and Bostons refers to my favorite things:  Reading every chance I get, cooking and creating great food (mostly grain free and sugar free) and loving my 4 adorable sweet Boston Terriers!  They are the COOLEST dogs in the universe.  Even though they hate everyone in the world except for the immediate family....  especially UPS and FEDEX drivers, for some reason!

I LOVE to cook and spend way way too much at the grocery stores, but I can't help it.  I go every day.  Maybe one day a month I will skip the store, but that is a rarity.  Since we rarely eat out, I think it all balances out.  I am trying to get the family on board eating Paleo style.  I try to keep wheat and sugar out of the house, but sometimes things happen like homemade Limoncello, in which case I had to buy a whole stinkin bag of sugar!  I want to make one with stevia, but my husband gagged too much at the idea.  I will try it when he isn't around!

Books books books!  I am NEVER without a few books to read.  I keep one in the car, for those long red lights.  I keep some at work, some in the kitchen, and a million in the bedroom.  I am always at the library (I hate spending money on a book unless it is a very special one, or a cookbook).  For some reason I buy cookbooks like they are going out of style....  and then end up online searching for recipes anyway!

So, all this talk about my favorite things must include my family!  There just wasn't a way to incorporate into the blog name!  I have been with my husband for 25+ years (moved in with him when I was a jailbaity 17 years old)!  I have two wonderful sons....  11 and 16.  I am so proud of them....  they rock!

This is my oldest with our little Phoebe when she was a pup.
Well, That's it for my first blog!  I need to break out my camera and get pics of all the dogs (Phoebe, Jinx, Luna and Hercules) and my kids and my FOOD!!!