Jumpin' In The Deep End

I was talking to a coworker yesterday about ice cream treats.  She had mentioned that she used to love McDonald’s ice cream cones as they were only about 70 calories and were made of frozen yogurt.  I do remember a time where a McDonald’s cone would cost you only about 3 points. 

But…maybe that was very long ago during a WW plan that is now far, far away. 

Just for fun we looked it up on the WW app.  A McDonald’s ice cream on the Smart Points plan will now cost you 8 Smart Points.  If that doesn’t make you evaluate the “is it worth it” slogan I don’t know what does.  I looked it up on the McDonald’s website.  The cone is now made with reduced fat ice cream, not frozen yogurt.  Perhaps they changed the mix?  I can’t be certain.  The nutrition information is 170 calories, 4.5g total fat, 3g sat fat, 27g carbs, 5g protein, and 20g sugar. 

Before Smart Points rolled out, on average one Points Plus point was the equivalent to about 40 calories.  I’m not sure if that is still true for Smart Points.  If you divide the 170 calories by 40 calories, on the Points Plus plan this ice cream cone would have been 4.25 points.  So basically this ice cream cone suddenly doubled in points.  I find that hard to believe.

This would be why I’ve been rebelling the new Smart Points program and why I have been reluctant to jump on board.  It is silly, this I am aware.  But it is my honest feelings.  I just have a hard time believing that the foods I ate during my previous WW journey should now be double (or triple) the amount of points it used to be.  Now, if I was a glowing success of maintenance and have been keeping my weight off while still eating these delicious foods…well, maybe I’d have a leg to stand on.  But I don’t.  I have been eating all the yummy stuff that isn’t healthy for you and that has now tripled in points.  It’s no wonder I’ve gained so much weight back.

So…there you go… I’m clearly doing it wrong.

This isn’t about a McDonald’s ice cream cone.  If I’m going to have ice cream, I’m having a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup shake from Arctic Circle that is probably at least worth two billion Smart Points Values instead of just one billion Points Plus Values. 

I got my tracker out yesterday and dusted it off.  I haven’t tracked since the week of May 3rd.  I started writing down my food yesterday.  I’m not yet tracking points.  I’m trying to re-build that habit that helped me be successful.  Good habits drive good decisions which yield good results. 


I’m also headed to a meeting later this evening.  I miss my connection to the WW program.  The only way to get that connection back is to jump into the deep end and join the Smart Points pool party.

Here we go.


A Day Of Remembrance

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance.

It is a day to remember those who have served our country and those that have died for our country.  It is a day to remember loved ones who are no longer with us.  It is a day of reflection.

I hope most of you are out celebrating the extra day off with your loved ones and enjoying the beautiful weather.

I am working today and keeping our law enforcement personnel on the road safe. 

Please don’t drink and drive. 
Have a great Memorial Day.


Saturday Activity & Eats

Good Sunday Morning to you all.  I wish I could have stayed in bed this morning instead of waking up at 4:30am.  I stayed up entirely too late watching TV last night.  However, I am almost done with my four hour overtime shift so that wasn’t too painful.  I love getting my OT out of the way early.  My coworker switched with me so I can attend a high school graduation later today.

I had a really nice Saturday.  It was my only day off with Kenyon and we had planned a date nite dinner at Tucanos.  Since Kenyon was sleeping during the day I met up with Mark and took in the Farmer’s Market.

Mark and I met at Flying M for some coffee.  I hadn’t had a chance to eat breakfast because I slept in a little bit late (I also stayed up late watching TV on Friday night) so I had planned to grab something downtown.  Mark requested Guru Donuts so we headed there next. 


I got the non-chocolate donut.  It was some sort of vanilla bean with flax and almonds.  It was good.  I had also been eyeing the maple bars that looked huge.  For $2.50 per donut, you gotta get your money’s worth.  I didn’t have that usual yucky fried feeling after I ate the donut.  They must be prepared differently?  It was quite tasty.

We weren’t on the lookout for anything in particular and mostly were just out walking around and catching up on the last month or so of gossip since I’ve seen him.  We ended up making a loop through both markets and into the wine shop where my brother works to use the bathroom.  I grabbed a couple items from Trader Joe’s as we made our way back to Flying M.  Mark still had some time before he had to go home and change for an afternoon wedding so we chatted outside of Flying M for a while.  By the time I said my goodbye we had walked over 6,000 steps 2.5 miles.

I was hungry and had planned to eat lunch downtown at Zeppole.  I love their sandwiches made on the village loaf.  I had my usual ham and swiss with pesto mayo and a bowl of tomato basil with ravioli on the side.  It really hit the spot.  I ventured to their tent at the market and got a half of a village loaf to take home.  I’m looking forward to mixing my own pesto mayo and having some ham and swiss sandwiches this week at work.  Mmmmmm…..I’m already craving it again.

My extra walk back downtown meant I logged some good activity yesterday.  WhoooHoooo.


I headed home for a nap with Kenyon, who was still sleeping.  We finally drug our lazy selves out of bed and headed to Tucanos for our dinner.  We wanted to celebrate the night we signed on our house but the date got changed and we had to work.  We had some leftover gift card money from their Christmas promotion so our dinner was almost free.  Even better!  We made reservations in advance and heard the wait was one hour.  Thank goodness for calling ahead.  The food was excellent and the meat servers were really awesome.  Since it was so busy the meat service was quick and we were in and out in less than an hour.  Yes, we are fast eaters!

We headed home to veg for the rest of the night.  It was nice to have time with Kenyon even if we were both just watching our individual shows.  I got sucked into Chicago PD hence the late night bedtime.

I’m out outta here.  See you later.



Update On The New House Build

Good Morning and Happy Friday.  I am so happy for a day off tomorrow.  I’m exhausted!  I worked an extra 24 hours this week and am on my fifth day.  Thankfully it is only a 10-hour shift and I get to spend time with Kenyon tonight and tomorrow.  I only work a 4-hour overtime shift on Sunday.  Hallelujah.

We swung by the house last night after Emma’s pre-school graduation.  Katie and the girls stopped by as well.  They have started to put in the electrical outlets so we spent a good amount of time looking over the rooms, etc.  We spotted a couple of mistakes and have contacted our realtor team.  We got a quick reply from Christina that it will be looked into.  That was nice.  Since we don’t really know what is scheduled to happen when during the building process, we knew that if we didn’t say something soon it could create an even bigger mess.  I wanted an under eve outlet for the patio area and the outlet has been put in at the back of the house by the garage.  Kenyon also wasn’t really happy with how all the wiring was strung and would like a larger box for where all the end of the cords rest.  It is all crammed into a really small box.  We will wait to see what comes back from the building side hopefully later today.  We are also going to swing by later tonight and look a little more closely with our plans in hand.

One other thing we noticed, which isn’t an issue, is that they moved the location of the air conditioner compressor as per our original plans.  It would have been nice to have a heads up as to why it got moved.  However, I do like the new location.  We will see how things progress.

Here are some photos.

Side of house with the start of the covered patio

Looking in from the garage

Looking from the living room to the dining room.  Window looking out to the patio.

Where the island will sit looking into the kitchen.

Looking into at the bonus room towards the stairs.

Taken from the front corner of the house in the master bedroom.  Looking at the door out of the room on the right and the door into the master bathroom on the left.

I'm really happy with this roof line and front patio.

Patio cover is complete.

View looking out the master bedroom.

Another view looking out the master bedroom.  Eventually there will be an elementary school in that green pasture.

Outer garage view.

Looking at the covered patio from the rear of the house.

The framing looks to be fully done.  There still isn’t enclosed walls on the interior of the upstairs yet.  Here soon we should see the insulation and sheet rock go up.  From that point we are expected to get a better estimate on closing dates.  Our neighbor’s house looks pretty close to finished.  She said her closing date was July 19th but I’m thinking it will be sooner than that.  Exciting stuff.


Birthday Celebration And Seeing Old Friends

Thanks for letting me unload my thoughts yesterday.  It always feels good to let it all out because then you can see a clearer plan of action.

Onto other less negative topics:

We celebrated Hailey’s 12th Birthday last night and tonight we will celebrate Emma’s graduation from pre-school.  Lots of enjoyable family time on the horizon.

I had to work a 12-hour shift yesterday so once 6pm rolled around, I was looking forward to family time.  I met up with my entire family at Idaho Pizza Company in Kuna for Hailey’s birthday.  While they waited for pizza, Hailey opened her presents.  I am not sure what all she got but she was super excited for the Polaroid camera her other grandmother gave her.  She had been wanting one and talking about it a lot.  My sister Katie says it is that phase of wanting instant gratification and not willing to wait for photos to be developed.  Hailey told me to be careful and not to push the button that takes the photo.  I asked how much the film was and Katie said it was $20 for a box of 10 photos.  What?  Wow.  That is some spendy instant gratification.  It was a cute purple camera and came in a cute purple case.  (Maybe I’ll get one.  Ha!)

After pizza we had cake and wished the birthday girl another happy year.


I also snapped a few photos with Emma.  That kid is WILD.  But dang she is cute.  She requested to sit by me at the pizza place.  Finally!  Emma has really been enjoying being in the presence of Kenyon lately but maybe I am now more popular than Kenyon?  Time will tell.


After the celebration (and pizza) we went by the property to check out the new house.  They are really close to being done with the framing and we even saw some piping was put in yesterday along with windows.  I’ll share some photos with you all tomorrow.

Lastly, we met up with some friends from high school that have moved away.  Allyson lives in Oregon and Maria lives in Illinois.  We got together about six years ago when Allyson had just found out she was pregnant with her daughter.  When we got together for our photo I had asked Kenyon to take it a little bit closer.  Allyson’s daughter Cassie got in front of us to smile for the camera not knowing she had been cut out of the photo.  So we took another photo to include her.  She is adorable.
Allyson, Maria, and Me


It was a late night and an early morning.  I’m working another 12-hour shift today and then I’m off to Emma’s graduation.  I still have Friday to go.  I am very ready for the weekend! 


Caution: Negative Thoughts Ahead

When I packed up my closet of clothes in our old house, I made a goal for myself to lose some girth so I can fit into those clothes again.  If not, well then I have to get rid of them.  It has officially been about a month since I packed up those clothes and sadly I am not any closer to meeting my goal.


**Have you ever looked at the images “facepalm” on Google? Hilarious!**

May was a very busy month.  I am going to make June more low key and actually relax on some days off.  I am also going to make June the month that I jump back into healthy living and activity.  I know I am feeling the void of my weekly WW meeting and the connection to the program it provided me with in the past.  I would like to find a meeting where I can be semi-anonymous and create the feeling of being a new member.  I had hoped to attend the Tuesday evening meeting in Caldwell, however, that is the best day to work overtime so I can spend my other two days off with Kenyon.  I’m not out of options and will plan to attend the Thursday evening meeting in Nampa.  The leader is Natalie, whom I love, so I can’t be really anonymous.  But, it should be a nice dose of support.

I had a lot of time to talk with my girlfriends during our Walla Walla trip about weight loss, weight gain, and all that stuff in between.  I was telling Dawny that I sometimes feel like my time so far with WW is split in two categories: my late 20s and my early 30s.

When I think back to starting out my WW journey, I was in my 20’s and full of life.  I was really committed to weight loss and changing my life.  I was energized and spent many hours at the gym and went walking all the time.

Now that I am in my late 30s, I feel like my priorities have shifted.  I love spending time with my husband, traveling, and social gatherings with my girlfriends.  Since my back issues started in August of 2013, I don’t feel as energized as I once did.  I’m not as committed to being active.  Having to be as strict with myself like I was when I first stated WW feels exhausting. 

It is clear I have put on a lot of weight these past few months and it can’t be ignored.  Seeing the photos from our Walla Walla trip makes me sad.  I used to be able to look at a photo of myself and like what I see.  Now, a bunch of negative thoughts come flooding into my brain.  It isn’t a good feeling.  Not to mention all the negative thoughts that comes when putting on ill-fitting clothes.  I’ve been struggling with this since Christmas.  When I have a large family gathering (such as the many upcoming graduation parties these next few weeks) I find myself wishing I had not put on so much weight.  On the day I know I am seeing family, I suddenly feel like I should have done more sooner.  I am wishing that I could turn back the clock and make different decisions next time.  But, we all know that life doesn’t work that way.  You can’t go back and erase your mistakes.

There isn’t any way to pretend that weight gain doesn’t sting and no way to make it look pretty.  You can’t wrap it up and put a bow on it.  You can’t top it with a cherry.  It is just a bunch of negative feelings I can’t escape.  I feel like a prisoner in my own body and that I can’t outrun the bad food choices I continue to make. 

I’m sorry this post is no negative.  That seems to be where my head is living these days.


Girls Weekend In Walla Walla, WA - Day Two AND my 1000th Blog Post!

If you missed Part One of our Girls Weekend in Walla Walla, you can read about it here à click here

Dawny and I shared a room at the rental house and neither of us slept well.  Dawny woke up around 4am and went out for a very early morning walk.  I ended up getting out of bed around 5am and needed coffee ASAP.  Our rental didn’t have a coffee pot so Dawny and I went in search of a Starbucks.  We ended up at the same Safeway we had been the night before so we also got some items for a fruit salad to tide us over while we waited for the others to wake up. 


We were going to have breakfast at this restaurant called Bacon & Eggs but by 9am on a Saturday morning, the wait was already 30 minutes.  We consulted Yelp again and set out on foot to a different restaurant called Maple Counter Café.  They had a slightly shorter wait time and you could sip on coffee while you wait.


While the service was really slow, the coffee was delicious and the food was really yummy.  We headed out on foot towards the Farmer’s Market stopping along the Tourist Center along the way.  We were able to score some free wine tasting cards and see some cute little kittens.


The Farmer’s Market was small but lively.


Phoenix’s parents had given us a recommendation to visit Canoe Ridge Vineyard, which was not in the downtown area.  Since we had the free tasting cards at another winery outside of downtown the search began for some wine tasting.  We got on the wrong stretch of US12 and ended up further away from our destination.  Danielle knew of a winery that came highly recommended in the area we had gotten lost in.  We found our way to Foundry Vineyards which is known for their delicious wine and their art exhibits. 


The Walla Walla wine region tends to be very heavy on the red varieties, which are my least favorite wine.  At Foundry Vineyards we tried two different types of Chardonnay, one from a steel barrel and one from an oak barrel.  I could instantly taste the different and much prefers the taste from steel barrel. 

I did a quick search for the location of Canoe Ridge Vineyards and found out it was just a block away from Foundry Vinyeards.  That was good to know.  Of all the red wines I have tasted in my life, Canoe Ridge Vineyards had the smoothest and the best tasting.  If it wasn’t $40+ per bottle, I would have taken one home with me.


Our free tasting cards were for Revelry Vintners, which was the smallest tasting room but had the only sweet wine I tasted the entire weekend.  I ended up buying a bottle of their Rose so I could come home with something from the Walla Walla wine region.


After many wine tastings, we needed some food and a nap!  We headed back to the house rental for both.  After waking up at 5am, the nap was much needed if I was going to try and party-it-up with the Walla Walla late night crowd later in the evening.  Once place that had come recommended for Walla Walla nightlife was The Red Monkey, which Danielle had heard about. 


The Red Monkey had a killer deal where you could get a cheeseburger and a beer for $9.  The beer even included Guinness, which I was able to get with nitro.  Both Kate and I got the cheeseburger special and I got some sweet potato fries.  Danielle ordered some pizza rolls and we all shared.


A short walk was a bar called Fat Cats Tavern & Grill but that ended up being more of a locals bar and far off the beaten path so we didn’t stay long.  We had heard several times that if you wanted some good live music and dancing that you should go to Sapolil Cellars.  There was a $5 cover charge after 8pm so we slipped in just before then hoping we could avoid the cover charge.

Within just a few minutes of surveying the crowd, we could quickly tell why the locals kept directing us to this place.  I’m pretty sure we were the youngest group in the bar.  Even the live band was in the senior citizen age range, but was still pretty good.  Once we found out that sneaking in before the cover charge won’t allow you to stay for free, we moved to another recommended location, Marcy’s Bar & Lounge. 

At this point we were almost 100% sure there was no actual nightlife in the small town of Walla Walla.  Since several locals said it gets "pretty hoppin’" after 9pm we were determined to stick it out and see if that was true.  We ordered a drink and sampled some delicious pastries/desserts from the Colville Street Patisserie across the street.  As it turns out, both Danille and Kate went to school with the owner Dave Christensen.  Dave wasn’t there but Danielle was able to meet his wife Tiffany.  We LOVED the desserts.


Once the clock struck 9pm, we asked our waitress why the town was pretty dead.  She thought it was due to the cool temps, rainy weather and Whitman College graduation.  I guess we will just have to take their word that this small town really does come alive during the evening hours.

On Sunday morning we woke at 7am so we could get to Bacon & Egg early.  Our waitress at Marcy’s the night before told us that if you show up at 8:01am that you will have to wait for a table.  We parked at 7:20am only to find the restaurant didn’t open until 8am.  WTF?  We walked to Starbucks for some coffee and watched the door of the restaurant.  About 7:50am, Dawny spotted somebody go inside.  We came to find out that there was a whole line of people INSIDE the restaurant and after we joined them the line continued to grow behind us.


The waitress wasn’t kidding.  By 8:15am there was now a wait for a table.  Wow.  I would like to say it was because the food was amazing, but sadly, I was underwhelmed.  Phoenix tried a Café Correcto since our waitress the night before had recommended it.  It came in the tiniest glass you ever saw and consisted of two shots of espresso, bourbon, and a sugar cube.  It stunk and Phoenix said it didn’t taste very good.  Kudos for trying it though.


With that, our vacation came to an end.  We loaded up and made the four hour drive home (gaining an extra hour which made it even later).  We had so much fun and I am so happy I was able to have this time with my friends.  We all have busy lives but if we don’t slow down we won’t make any new memories.  Thank you Kate, Danielle, Dawny, and Phoenix for sharing this weekend with me.