Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving dinner

Jon and I opted to stay home, together, and cook Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us. So, after our 5k (Run to Feed the Hungry) we headed home and started our Thanksgiving by making apple pie! I've never made pie crust before and I knew ahead of time that I would not want to take on this task the day of Thanksgiving especially after finished our 5k - so we purchases refrigerated pie crusts. We also bought Granny Smith apples for the pie filling. I found an apple pie recipe if one of my many (read: hundreds) of recipe books and we began by peeling, chopping, and dicing up 6 cups of green apples. Making apple pie is a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. The hardest part was peeling the apples, which I am kind of an expert at, so it wasn't that hard. I'm sure the making of the pie crusts is the hardest part of baking a pie so I'm glad we skipped that step this time. Refrigerated pie crusts are the way to go for sure. After our apple pie was finished baking we headed over to Jon's dad's house to spend a little time with the family. We hung out for a couple of hours and then headed back home to start our dinner. We put our turkey (frozen breast, that is) in the oven around 4pm and we ended up eating dinner at 6:45. Along with our boneless turkey breast, we also had Stovetop brand turkey stuffing, crescent rolls, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy (the packet that came with the turkey breast), and green bean casserole (with cream of celery instead of cream of mushroom - because the husband-to-be hates mushrooms!). It was quite the little feast and we thoroughly enjoyed spending our first Thanksgiving in our new home together, just the two of us!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

BE THANKFUL

Be thankful that you don't have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to.

Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
they will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
However fulfillment also comes to those who
are thankful for some of the setbacks in life.

May the good things in life be yours in abundance,
not only on Thanksgiving but through the coming year.

-Arthur unknown

Official race results

Runner Details Race Results Split Times
Bib: 16613
Name: Jessica
Gender: F
Age: 28
Hometown: Elk Grove, CA
Overall: 3797 out of 14992
Women: 1864 out of 9125
F 25-29: 273 out of 981
Age/Grade: 38.98% Place: 4017
Finish: 37:59 Pace: 12:14
Tag Time: 37:59
Gun Time: 41:47

- No splits are available for this runner -

New personal best

Happy Thanksgiving! This morning the husband-to-be and I ran the Run to Feed the Hungry through downtown Sacramento benefiting the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. We lined up at the 12+ mile marker and when the gun went off we slowly started making our way to the starting line with the other 20,000+ people participating. We were finally able to start running once we crossed the starting line and spent the whole race weaving around walkers. It was a perfect morning, a little fog but not too cold and we finished in 37:59 - my new personal best for a 5k!!! Woo-hoo!!! Now we are going to veg out at our new house and bake an apple pie and cook up a Thanksgiving feast - just for the two of us!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Obsession Confession

I have an obsession with designer handbags and wallets. It's not an unhealthy obsession because I do not overindulge frequently. Some would say that I do spend way too much money on things like these - I just say, I'm spoiled and I'm okay with that.
This wallet and purse (that I L-O-V-E) have recently been added to my collection, courtesy of my mom and step-dad, my dad and step-mom, and my husband-to-be (they all pitched in so I could get these for my birthday). Both were purchased at the Coach Outlet in Folsom. The wallet was on clearance and the purse was half off. I'd say we saved around $300 by purchasing these beauties at the outlet instead of a retail store. Score.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lasagna Roll-ups


Everyone loves lasagna ~ it happens to be one of my favorite foods. But sometimes you want some lasagna without having a week's worth of leftovers. Enter the lasagna roll-ups. Yum-o!

Ingredients:
lasagna noodles (I use whole wheat ones)
ricotta cheese (I use fat free)
mozzarella cheese (I use reduced fat)
Italian seasoning
garlic powder
onion powder
fresh ground black pepper
1 small can of tomato sauce (or any kind of pasta sauce - we always use tomato sauce because its cheaper)

Preheat your oven to 375/400 degrees.

Cook just enough of the noodles according to package directions (usually till al dente) to make 4 servings (for us, 4 servings would be 12 noodles).

While the noodles are cooking, mix together the tub of ricotta cheese, a generous portion of the Italian seasoning (I'd sad a couple of tablespoons), 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of mozzarella cheese, and the garlic and onion powder and fresh ground black pepper (probably about 1/2 tablespoon each).

Spread some of your tomato sauce or pasta sauce on the bottom of your lasagna pan, to keep the noodles from sticking. Once the noodles are ready, drain the water and rinse the noodles with cold water. Dry the noodles then place one noodle flat on a plate. Scoop out some of the cheese mixture and place it at one end of the noodle, spread it a little with the spoon up the noodle and the roll the noodle up. Place the rolled up noodle in the pan and repeat with all the noodles. Once all the noodles have been rolled up with the cheese mixture and placed in your pan, top each lasagna roll-up with your tomato sauce or pasta sauce and then with a little sprinkle of cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and the mixture in the roll up is hot. Serve immediately.

*This recipe is so versatile. You can add your favorite lasagna ingredients (spinach, grated zucchini, ground beef, etc). It can also be made ahead of time and place in the fridge.

Helpful household tip #1

I can't believe I've gone my whole life thus far without knowing this. What a time saver it could have been sooo many times!

Have you ever tried to remove stickers from your new plates, a glass vase, a candy jar, etc? I'm sure almost everyone has. It's a pain in the you-know-what! I use to use Goo Gone. It works, but its super greasy and it stinks and then you have to wash the item you removed the sticker from like 500 times to get the grease and smell off.

A co-worker told me about this:
Use Pam! You know, Pam. The non-stick cooking spray. OMG. It works, amazingly good. I sprayed a little dab on my new class cookie jar that my step-mom gave me at our housewarming party it the sticker came right off. I couldn't believe it. I also sprayed a little dab on the new pasta dishes we bought last night (to complete our set) that Jon had removed the sticker from last night before he stuck them in the dishwasher (he obviously did not get all the sticky stuff off from the sticker) then put the dishes back in the dishwasher and started it. I haven't checked yet (because the dishwasher is still running) but I'm going to venture to say that I'm sure the rest of the sticker came off.

What a great household tip! And, I always have some Pam in my kitchen! Woo-hoo!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cream Cheese Roll-ups


These are perfect little roll-ups for parties! My mom always makes these and last weekend she taught me how as she was preparing them for our housewarming party!

Ingredients
1 package of 8 burrito size flour tortillas
2 8oz packages of cream cheese
1 4oz can of Ortega green chilies
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix

Let the cream cheese sit at room temperature for about an hour before you begin.

After the cream cheese has been softened at room temperature for about an hour, place both packages in a large bowl and start to blend them with a fork (the cream cheese may be difficult to work with at first so use the fork to start making the cream cheese softer and easier to work with). Add in the green chilies and the packet of dip mix and blend well.

After the cream cheese mixture has been blended well, place one tortilla on a large cutting board and spread the cream cheese mixture onto the tortilla starting from the center and working you way around to all the edges. After the cream cheese has been spread onto the tortilla, roll the tortilla up tightly and firmly. Once the tortilla has been rolled up, scrape the excess cream cheese mixture that may have come out off and place the rolled up tortilla seam side down on your cutting board. Cut the roll up into pieces, whatever size you desire. Place a colored or fancy party toothpick into each roll up and arrange the roll ups on a platter. Repeat with each tortilla until you run out of cream cheese mixture. (We were able to make about 5 tortillas which made a lot of little roll-ups)!

*This recipe is very versatile. My mom always makes it the same way and I love them but my friend Kylie told me that she adds salami and black olives and pimentos to hers and uses garlic powder instead of the ranch dip packet when she makes them.

**The picture listed above has salami in the recipe. I made these today for a party that Jon and I went to. They were a hit, as always. Mine do not look as good as my mom's always turn out, but they were good just the same :)

Home Sweet Home

video

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dust myself off

It's Friday! Woo-hoo! That means its time for the weekend. It also means that Jon and I ran 4 days this week so far! Woo-hoo again! It was a struggle but I'm glad we are getting back into a routine and holding each other accountable about getting out there and doing it. We ran 2 miles on Monday, 1.25 miles on Tuesday, 3 miles on Wednesday and 2 miles last night (Thursday). We plan on having a rest day today because we are going to the football playoff game for the school Jon teaches at, but we plan on running both Saturday and Sunday. Monday's run was okay. My shins hurt a little and I struggled, but we finished two miles. Tuesday we went for a shorter run and I did a little better, my shins were not hurting as badly. Wednesday we headed out, planning on running 3 miles since we have a 5k coming up on Thanksgiving day, and I did okay - my legs were starting to hurt at the start of mile 3 and I was getting tired - and then with about 0.25 of a mile left to go I fell. It wasn't a bad fall, I stumbled over a bump in the sidewalk because I was dragging my feet because I was getting tired. I took a few steps trying to find my balance, and ended up falling. Luckily I just fell and stopped instead of sliding and getting road rash. The palms of my hands got a little scratched up and my shoulder is hurting along with my hip, but I'm okay. I got up, dusted the asphalt off my face, and walked the rest of the way home. And then last night I got right back out there and ran again. I didn't let my little stumble keep me from running and I didn't let it discourage me. So, I fell. Yeah, it hurt a little. Yeah, I was embarassed. But, I got back out there. That's the important part.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekly Meal Plan, Nov 17th to 23rd

Monday - spaghetti with turkey meatballs

Tuesday - chicken and rice with peas and mozzarella cheese

Wednesday - leftover spaghetti and turkey meatballs

Thursday - Taco Soup

Friday - Lasagna roll-ups

Saturday - appetizer party

Sunday - leftover lasagna roll-ups

What's it all about?

I originally started this blog because I wanted to start posting my favorite recipes. Then it evolved into a running and weight loss journal of sorts. And now its just kind of all over the place about all sorts of things. There are posts I started and never finished (like about reading Don't Sweat The Small Stuff) and there are things I use to blog about regularly that have since gone by the wayside (week's in review, meal plans). I also use to to track my miles for running, journal my migraines, share photos with friends, and ramble about things like my obsession with too much TV and my politic viewpoints. I like what my blog has evolved into ... less structure, and more random. Sometimes I have a hard time posting regularly - but I just learned about scheduling posts, so that could change! I'm still on my weight loss journey and I'm still running as much as I can. I'm also still tracking my food and I still make weekly meal plans, which I plan to start posting again. But, I like being random - and that's where I'm going to keep going with this little blog of mine ...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Let's recap

I celebrated my birthday with my husband-to-be, my BFF/cousin Farina and her boyfriend (who happens to be my college roommate) and some close friends (Andy, Linsey, and Jonalin) by taking a trip to the world's largest corn maze! I love taking a trip to the corn maze every year, a tradition that started in 2005 with my 182'er friends (Val, Zach, and Brian) from college. I had a great time.
After the world's largest corn maze we headed into downtown Sac and had dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant, Nishiki's! Jon and I use to frequent Nishiki's at least once or twice a week when we lived downtown. We spent our first Valentine's together at Nishiki's sharing sushi and fell in love with their food and location and staff!

After dinner we headed to a bar in walking distance for a few drinks! It was a lot of fun! A few more friends met up with us at the bar and helped me celebrate my 28th birthday!

On my actual birthday, I was quite lazy. After an amazing breakfast at Paesano's with Farina and Ryan, I crawled back in bed with a migraine (damn insomnia after drinking turned into a massive migraine that had me in bed for hours) and then we went shopping at Ikea. After our shopping trip, Jon and I headed to downtown Sac again and had dinner at PF Changs! It was sooo good!

I had a great birthday ... despite the number of years I was celebrating.


Later that week we celebrated Halloween by handing out candy at our new house and then we got dressed up and headed out to a party! We had every intention of heading to a second party after the first, but instead we ended up having a drink at local bar in Elk Grove then heading home - not wanting to do a lot of driving in the rain.

Life has been a little crazy since we started the home buying process and moved into our new house. We haven't really gotten back to a normal routine yet. This week we have been in overdrive getting things unpacked and put away because tomorrow we are having our families and close friends over for a housewarming party. There are still a ton of boxes (all hidden in one bedroom) but its finally starting to look like a home :)

Here is a sneek peek at some of the work we've done getting unpacked and decorated:
That's vinyl wall art in our master bedroom above the window above our bed :) *love it*

Running has been all most non-existent and weight loss has hit a plateau. Life has been hectic and stressful and I'm drained. I need a vacation from life. But, it doesn't work that way. So I just keep on keeping on.

The Jesse

A little bit about me ...

I saw this on someone's blog (I can't remember when or who) and so I thought, sure ... why not ... let's do it ... why not share a little about The Jesse with the rest of the world.

I AM ... 28 years old
I WANT... to have a baby before I'm 30!
I HAVE... just recently purchased my first home, with my husband-to-be
I KEEP... just about everything
I WISH I COULD... be more daring
I HATE... spiders and snakes & when people wear brown and black together
I FEAR... death
I HEAR... my co-workers talking around me
I DON’T THINK... I just know
I REGRET... a lot and none of it at the same time
I LOVE... Jon and my kitties and my family and my friends :)
I AM NOT... outspoken but I wish I was
I DANCE... badly but have fun doing it
I SING... pretty good when it's American Idol Karoake on the Xbox
I NEVER... apologize unless I mean it
I RARELY... judge a book by its cover
I CRY WHEN I WATCH... Extreme Home Makeover
I AM NOT ALWAYS... on time or organized and when I'm not it drives me nuts!
I HATE THAT … people percieve me as mean/rude/short-tempered
I’M CONFUSED ABOUT … life mostly
I NEED … to win the lottery
I SHOULD … be working!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Psst ...

one more quick blog post from work ... I've got a lot to update on here including some pics from my birthday and Halloween and some running and weight updates. Life has been b-u-s-y! Between the house, wedding planning, work, running, and everything else in between its surprising that I remember my own name! LOL

So, with all that being said - check back soon for some updates ... and I mean soon as in maybe-I'll-find-the-time-to-post-an-update-when-I-get-home-from-work-today soon!

We've been blogged!

For those of you that don't know, I'm getting married is a few short months (128 days to be exact). The husband-to-be and I got engaged in January of this year and we've been busy planning the biggest party of our lives ever since. One of the first things we did was find and secure our location and from our location we found our photographer, Debbie Brown. Once we saw Debbie's website (www.debbiebrownphoto.com) and blog (www.debbiebrownphoto.blogspot.com) we just knew that she was excatly what we were looking for in a wedding photographer. Last Friday we met up with Debbie in Old Sac to take our engagement photos during our "getting to know you session" thats part of our wedding package. We had sooo much fun! Old Sac is such a fun and unique place. The photos turned out amazingly. You can check some of them out by clicking on this link: http://debbiebrownphoto.blogspot.com/2008/11/beatiful-fall-morning-in-old-sac.html

And, you can follow along with our wedding plans by visiting my other blog, www.jesseandjonswedding.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One more thing

Yesterday, those of you that voted, took place in a very important change in our nation - regardless of the candidate you chose. I'm proud to have been a part of this change. Change is good. Embrace it. Acknowledge it. Accept it.

While I'm proud to have been a part of this change for our nation, and even though all the precincts have not yet reported, and they are saying its too close to call - for now I'm currently disappointed to be a resident of the great state of California. I'm just going to leave it at that for now.

It's been a while ...

since I've posted any of our meal plans or weight loss updates - but life is slowly getting back under control and I'm trying to find the time. Between exercising, wedding planning, and unpacking/organizing the new house I'm just running out of time every day to get everything on my TO DO lists done. I've got a wedding meeting (with my mom, my maid of honor and matron of honor, my day of coordinator, and one of my bridesmaids) coming up in less than two weeks so I'm busy getting ready for that. There are still boxes all over my house and very little hanging on my walls. I can't yet park in the garage because its still a dumping ground. And I'm trying to get back to exercising regularly - which, so far, is actually going as planned. My dad and step mom gave us bikes the weekend we moved into our new home so we've been cross training on the bikes. Its a very nice change! The abs & push ups are going good. I feel like my arms are getting stronger. Push ups are hard! My legs are definitely getting stronger between the bike rides and squats & lunges.

We've got a busy weekend coming up. We are meeting with our wedding photographer on Friday morning to get our engagement photos taken in Old Sac and then on Saturday we are heading up to North Lake Tahoe for a mini-belated-birthday-getaway. Next week is the first week in a long time that life looks normal again. No crazy work schedules (today I'm taking a long lunch to go the dentist - which means I'll be working later than normal - and tomorrow I'm working another split shift so that I can be home for a few hours during the day to get our heater looked at - we've got a crack in our heat exchanger so currently we can't use our heater or we risk the chance of catching our house on fire), no appointments, no major errands to run. Life might just be getting back to normal sooner than I thought :)

Miles for October

October was not a productive exercising month. Enough said.

10/1 - rest, working at the new house
10/2 - rest, painting - this is getting very depressing
10/3 - rest, painting and cleaning the new house - gosh, I can't wait to go for a run again ...
10/4 - rest, painting - still
10/5 - rest & a road trip to Sunnyvale to visit family
10/6 - rest, cleaning at the new house
10/7 - rest, cleaning at the new house
10/8 - rest, packing at the old apt
10/9 - rest, packing at the old apt
10/10 - rest, moving
10/11 - rest, moving and unpacking
10/12 - rest, unpacking, visiting with family & friends
10/13 - rest, sick, cleaned old apt
10/14 - rest, sick
10/15 - rest, still sick, and worked a split shift
10/16 - rest
10/17 - rest & dinner with the best friend Ryan
10/18 - rest & game night
10/19 - rest, hung over :(
10/20 - 2.88 miles @ the park, abs & pushups
10/21 - approx 2.5 mile bike ride, squats & lunges
10/22 - 2.88 miles @ the park, abs & pushups
10/23 - approx 2.5 mile bike ride, squats & lunges
10/24 - rest, abs & pushups
10/25 - rest, squats & lunges
10/26 - rest, my birthday :)
10/27 - 2.88 miles @ the park, abs & pushups
10/28 - rest, squats & lunges
10/29 - i can't remember if we did anyting or not :(
10/30 - rest, raining
10/31 - rest, raining

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted ...

did you???