It’s time people! Not as many participants this year as usual, but those that are will be awesome I am sure! It’s not to late to join in, either.
Remember that any activity counts from Friday through Sunday. Just email me a photo of yourself or what you did to email@example.com by Monday. I will compile the results and then do a drawing for some prizes. One of the prizes is this lovely pin I picked up in New Orleans from an artist in the French Quarter. It should make the wearer feel closer to spring, I think
I will be doing a lifting workout. I just rejoined my old gym – only $99 for a whole year WOOT!
Pixie will be doing what she does best, which is getting into stuff. I was lifting the first layer of plywood off the counter and she just had to be there checking it out.
Her look says What.The.Hell?
My other activity this weekend will be working on the counters. Have a great weekend!
Sometimes when I do a home improvement project, I think and think and think and then just take a deep breath and go. That happened today. We were planning on redoing the counters this winter. Then when we found Radiance Manor and I decided not to do them since we were supposed to move shortly. Now there is the delay and I am back to hating the counters again and want to do something with them so prospective buyers won’t say “ick” like I do.
Someone decided that gray floor tiles with 1/4 dark grout would be nice for a counter. It’s not. The grout is gross and hard to keep clean.
Plus, there is no backsplash.
I ran out of work today in the afternoon and you know that saying about the devil and idle hands. I went out into the shop and got the hammer, chisel and safety goggles. John said something like “What are you deconstructing?” My response? “Nothing.” Not like I was fooling John at all. I am very fortunate that he pretty much lets me do whatever project I want to do without a fuss. At least outwardly anyway.
First stop was removing the wood border. I want to keep that if I can. It just needs sanding and refinishing. This is going to be a very cost efficient project. I am not sure about the copper paint in this house on the counter. I had the espresso machine sitting on the scrap pieces and while nothing else we did on the counter bothered it, the machine left dimples in the surface from its feet. Granted it is a heavy machine, but so is the microwave and stand mixer. A little bummed there, but I will be painting other things with the copper paint.
It took less than an hour to remove the tile – partially because it wasn’t laid very well.
Yes, that is our coffee grinder. Most people have a regular coffee grinder. I don’t mess around. I have a COFFEE GRINDER.
All done except removing the sink, but we need to use that for now. That white bag is to protect Pixie’s feet. This is where she always jumps on the counter to get to the window and I didn’t want her to get any debris on her pads or get a splinter.
I actually kind of blame Cammy for this. She asked a question about what our kitchens looked like, which got me thinking for the answer and there you go. At least I have a project for this weekend.
Don’t forget about the Healthy Heart Weekend! It starts on Friday!
There was more snow yesterday. Because we just can’t seem to get enough around here. Seriously – it has to stop! There is nowhere to put the snow at the back of our driveway:
I don’t remember ever having this much snow on the ground. Even a few years ago when it was really bad I don’t think we had this much.
We went out for our usual Wednesday bagel. Check out this enormous (and dangerous) icicle hanging off the building.
Isn’t that insane?? I like how they just put an orange cone underneath it (not pictured). Like that will do any good. I wasn’t the only one taking a picture either LOL!
Here is one of my 10% meals right here.
It started snowing again today and I think there was another inch or two.
It feels like it’s going to be June before we see the ground.
Anyway, here is a fun and exciting sign of not spring, but at least something green! I do believe that this is a flower spike coming out of one of my orchids! I just noticed this yesterday.
SQUEEEEEE! This makes me so excited I can barely stand it! Grow faster, dammit!
Well, my pants are a bit tight from the trip… and Christmas, so now is the time to refocus again. I am going to start a lifting program and I think I settled on doing the Female Body Breakthrough by Rachel Cosgrove again. Now I don’t necessarily care for her approach as far as trying to get women to lift with silly acronyms like BITCHH – Be Inspiring, Totally Confident and Hot, rocking the jeans, turning heads, etc., but I guess I understand if that is how she needs to hook the nonlifter. Those women who understand how strength training changes your body don’t need to be catered to like this. I much more prefer the approach written in New Rules of Lifting for Women.
Okay, I’ll get back on track again, sorry.
For me, the eating style is pretty much what I try to do most times, but a bit stricter than I normally do (no sugar except on splurge meals). I didn’t really follow her eating plan too closely when I was doing this a couple years ago, but I am going to this time. I also am going to try something really radical for me, which is to not count calories. I am just going to write down what I ate in a notebook and stick to portions and see what happens. I have tracked food for years, but I thought this would be a good challenge for me. This is not moving towards intuitive eating at all – that just doesn’t work for me, which is okay. It’s just something to help make me very aware of what I am eating. I know that sounds odd to say considering I track my food, but the trackers I use have settings where you can have favorite meals set up or common foods and just add them with a click of a button, so you don’t pay attention as much. Does this make sense to anyone but me?
Basic plan is 5 to 6 eats per day (snack or meal). On lifting days, protein shake post workout. Meals should be as unprocessed as possible with protein and either a fruit or veggie with every meal or snack. Starchy carbs should not include bread or pasta, but things like oats, potatoes, corn tortillas, rice. Protein bar or shake in a pinch, not as part of the daily food.
The idea is to stay on track 90% of the time, which is the goal, and 10% of the meals are splurge meals where you can eat the things you aren’t eating the other 90% of the time. This includes bagels for me a couple times a week and a meal out (not that you can’t follow the guidelines eating out, but the option is there). 10% equals about 3 to 4 meals a week.
And yes, I know it isn’t the beginning of the month when I normally set goals for myself, but I need a mid winter push.
So, here is my example today of a nonlifting food day:
Brekkie – steel cut oats with egg whites whisked in, topped with a banana sauteed in a teaspoon of butter and cinnamon (plus coffee and almond milk).
Morning snack. Sometimes I am really hungry for a snack, sometimes I am fine until lunch. No rhyme or reason to it, either, so I have it if I want it – like today. Grapes and a portion of lean ham.
Lunch. This is turkey chili that I made just throwing ground turkey, canned tomatoes, a bit of onion, chili powder, a can of diced green chiles and some salt and pepper in a pot. Corn tortilla on the side. (This picture is last night’s dinner, but I had the same thing for lunch – only I ate it at the computer!)
Afternoon snack – latte and blueberries!
Dinner – Omelet made with 1 egg plus some egg whites to bulk it up. Topped with some parmesan cheese. Side of sauteed and shredded brussel sprouts.
Evening snack. 1/4 cup of ricotta mixed with 1/4 cup of pumpkin and a boatload of cinnamon. Plus about 1.5 walnuts that happened to be in the fridge. Not sure why a container with only this many nuts was in there, but there you go.
This is made up and in the fridge to have later. I was going to get closer with the picture, but then thought better of it
Eyeballing the day puts this probably around 1400-1500 calories, but again, I am not counting them specifically.
I’ll talk about the strength part later and get back to listing what I do for that. It will definitely be part of Healthy Heart Weekend! I will state my power goal is to be able to do a 25# dumbbell shoulder press - without use of momentum. I got there before and I can do it again!
Finally home. We spent the last half of the week after leaving New Orleans in Colorado visiting John’s family. It was good seeing everyone again!
One of the things we did was to see some snow sculptures in Loveland – quite appropriate for Valentine’s weekend
You can’t leave Loveland without some hearts, too!
Good times seeing John’s family. I wish they weren’t so far away.
Then it was time to come back
to the North Pole home. Of course, a foot of snow fell while we were gone, but my sister works in Albany and went to the long-term lot and shoveled off our car! Don’t I have the best sister? The back of the car was plowed in again, but it was much easier to get out than it would have been without her help. We hired a service to plow our driveway in case it snowed while we were gone. Good thing, right? Still, we came home to a crap load of snow.
Ridiculous isn’t it? So, so glad we hired that service since we had house/pet sitters coming in while we were gone.
Thank goodness we didn’t have to get back and shovel!
They should do snow sculptures here…
The very last thing was going out for a grocery run so we can hit the ground running on Monday. After the indulgences of New Orleans, it’s time to get back to Fit Female eating!
And don’t forget to sign up for the Healthy Heart Weekend if you haven’t! It’s coming up!
So, on to the food! Long post, so settle in with some coffee. New Orleans is pretty famous for its food. Honestly, you don’t go here thinking in any way that you are going to be able to find salads and fat free dressing. This is one of those times that you eat good food, enjoy it, feel no guilt and move on once you get home. Plus you do a lot of walking, so that helps.
This is a compilation of what the 3 of us ate. Not every meal, but the most interesting ones.
Of course, you cannot go to New Orleans and not have beignets at Cafe du Monde!
These are a French style donut. It’s square and thick – kind of like fried dough and not really like a donut. Plenty of powdered sugar on these. Please do not wear dark colored clothes when eating these. I lost count of how many we ate. Okay, I know how many we ate, but that will be kept secret
Bourbon Street is hit or miss with food from cheap bar food to upscale eateries. We went mid level with Remoulade, which is an offshoot of Arnaud’s. I actually had a drink and it was really good, so I will share that. It’s called a Pearl Diver. It had rum, coconut, pineapple and melon liqueur.
I enjoyed my meal of crawfish pies, which are filled with a spicy crawfish mixture.
Note, when eating in New Orleans, don’t waste stomach space on things like fries or stuff you can get at home.
We also love Croissant D’Or on Ursuline. This place is beautiful inside.
My mother and I had a frangipani, which has layers of pastry and and almond filling.
John had a Napoleon.
When we took the streetcar, we went way out of the Quarter into Riverbend and stumbled on the Milk Bar.
What a little gem this place is! I had an unusual sandwich called Yam I Am. It had sweet potato, sun dried tomato, pesto, feta cheese, spring greens and a balsamic dressing on it (I left off the onions and olives…ewww). This was a delicious sandwich!
You know I had to find cupcakes, right? We happened upon the Kupcake Factory and I couldn’t resist. They had good prices on the cuppies at $2.50 each. Here is John’s Boston Cream cupcake.
Our ‘fanciest’ meal we had was at Eat Nola, which is a newer restaurant in the more residential part of the Quarter. It’s a renovated old home.
We started with a bleu cheese and fig compote appetizer. The bleu cheese was very mild and I quite liked this.
My entree was chocon with mustard greens and a side of mac and cheese (made with spaghetti noodles).
It’s basically a barbecue pulled pork. I have never tried mustard greens before. I was expecting a very strong flavor, but they were milder than collard greens, or so they seemed to me. I would not go out of my way to eat them again, but it was fun to try.
John had a crawfish pie with a side of red beans and rice.
He really liked this. The pie actually had cheese on top, which was unusual – and very rich. He also said their red beans and rice were excellent.
My mother had the barbecue shrimp. Now BBQ shrimp in New Orleans is something different. It is a buttery worchestershire sauce that is pretty spicy. It comes with french bread to soak up the sauce and also a wet towel for cleaning your hands. The shrimp are not peeled. Normally the heads are left on, but Eat served them in shell minus the head.
For an inexpensive and good meal in the Quarter, try The Grill Nola , which is kind of a classic diner. I loved the inside, but maybe because I am partial to the marble countertops.
I had a cheese omelet – good for protein in a city that loves its carbs.
John had a catfish Po’boy, which is really a sub, but they call them po’boys.
Really good meal here.
One of my very, very favorite things is a praline! We tested a lot of different ones and the 2 top standouts in my opinion are Southern Candy Makers and Loretta’s. Super fresh:
Another new place to us this trip was Stanley’s. A companion restaurant to, of course, Stella’s. (Stellaaaaaa!!!!) It is very affordable and really good! I loved the atmosphere, too.
I had an eggs benedict Po’boy.
Simple and delicious!
My mom’s dish was a shrimp and crawfish etouffe:
So, I think that gives you a good idea of the cuisine. Not that it is all cajun/creole since you can find pretty much any cuisine in this city, but you can’t go wrong with these. Now I am still dreaming of the pralines and will have to wait for the next trip there!
Here are some of the things we did while we were in New Orleans. We generally like to stay near the French Quarter, but do venture out to the business district or Fauberg.
Of course, there is Bourbon Street, which is a strange mix of bars, strip clubs, great music halls, t-shirt shops and restaurants (some excellent). You do have to experience Bourbon street once, just to say you did.
There is good music to be heard here:
Interesting note – On Tuesday night, there was a huge bang of thunder and the lights went out in the Quarter. We were in a cafe about a block off of Bourbon and it was a bit scary. My mom was safely in the B&B, thank goodness. The staff was saying how this only happened a couple times in 10 years for the Quarter to go dark. We decided to head home after waiting a bit. You could see down to the business district and see the lights on there. There were people still in the bars on Bourbon, singing LOL! Not to mention when we went by Fritzel’s, they were playing jazz still – in the dark! The power came on maybe 45 minutes later?
My favorite place is actually Royal Street. It’s a block south of Bourbon and the street is blocked off from traffic during the day. There is a lot of shopping to be done on Royal from uber upscale shops selling $14,000 chandeliers to small boutiques. Some shops have courtyards leading to them, like this one:
With the streets blocked off, musicians set up camp and entertain.
You will hear all types of music and of varying quality…
There are shops all over as well. I found a cute shop called Fleurty Girl and got a purse! This is actually a textured vinyl purse that is lined (pink) and has a magnetic closure. I just love the colors. And shall I tell you it was $16.95? I started using this the minute I bought it, too.
I just love the colors! Of course, I managed to knock over some stuff trying to get the purse off the rack. I always find a way to embarrass myself. Not sure if John was embarrassed or not – or just used to that stuff when accompanying me places
We took the famous St. Charles streetcar for a long way out to the Riverfront (where we had lunch).
My mom was a trooper getting on and off the streetcar. They were working on the track and we actually had to exit the streetcar, grab a shuttle which took us further up the track, and back onto the streetcar again!
This is the Beauregard-Keyes house, which is a historic residence museum.
If you are looking for an apartment in New Orleans, there is this one.
Not haunted, in case that was on your deal breaker list.
I love just seeing all the cool buildings in New Orleans. Here is the famous Cornstalk Hotel.
The fence gives it the name.
We wanted to go to the botanical gardens, but the last full day we had there was cold and rainy, so we went to the Insectarium.
There was a butterfly garden in there, which made me happy as a clam!
The butterflies were free to go everywhere, including landing on people!
And you do have to be silly.
Here are some nice shots of the Jackson Square area.
Same shot at night. I love this shot.
It’s funny, the cathedral is not lit green, but it comes out the way on my camera. BTW – all of my photos were taken with my windows phone.
I love the Quarter at night.
The next post will be a post about the food – so stay tuned!
If you missed the Healthy Heart Weekend signup – here is the link!
Hello from New Orleans! We have just a short trip here. Can I just say how nice it was to get away from below freezing and tons of snow to warmer weather?
My mom actually joined us for this part of our trip. She has never been to New Orleans, so we brought her along to show her around. My dad won’t fly, so he misses out on this (plus not sure he would be a big fan). We stayed at the Gentry House in the French Quarter.
It has a nice little courtyard in the back:
The money frog:
This place is really nice! It had probably 15 foot ceilings, which I loved! This was our bedroom.
It needs updating in some spots, like the kitchen, but some wonderful original details.
The second bedroom has this gorgeous chandelier and fireplace.
On Sunday morning, my mother wanted to go to a church service, so we took her down to the St. Louis Cathedral.
She really enjoyed the service. After the service was over, us heathens were allowed to go in and take pictures.
I have never been in a cathedral before (churches – yes). It was beautiful inside.
My favorite, of course, was the stained glass:
Since I am posting buildings, here are some more architecture pictures of the Quarter.
And I can’t do a first post without the beignets!
Nom, nom, nom!
I will do a few posts even though it was a short visit because I don’t want to blow up your feed with pictures all at once!
Can you believe this is the 4th annual Healthy Heart Weekend?
If you want to see some of the previous years’ results click here, click here or click here.
Here’s how it works. During this weekend, do some kind of activity on 1 of the 3 days of Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. You don’t have to have a blog in order to join, either.
This weekend is all just about getting moving. If you want to walk, that’s fine. Elliptical bunny? Knock yourself out! Take a long bike ride? Go for it! Play date with the family? Have a blast! Slinging the barbell around counts, too The only stipulation is that you need to take a picture of yourself before, during or after your event and send it to me. I will post the pictures in a wrap up post. Get creative, too! You don’t have to have your face in the photo if you don’t want to, so have fun with it!
Date: February 21st, 22nd and 23rd! Feel free to chose Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to complete your event.
Activity: Your choice!
Distance: Your choice. I know many of you are training for an event, so you can use whatever distance fits in with your training plan. It’s all about a healthy heart, not a specific distance or time.
After you complete your event, please email me the photo and what you did at javaqueen01 (at) yahoo.com .
Please post below if you would like to participate and what you plan to do! Feel free to post about it on your blog if you have one and see how many people we can get to participate! You may grab the logo above and link as well.
I will be giving away some prizes, too. I will update this post as we go along with the prizes. And since I am hosting – anyone in the world is eligible for the prize drawings!
It’s actually really fun doing a virtual event. I loved getting in the emails all weekend with photos and what people did. Let’s get a lot of people involved this year!
Hey, how about that – it’s Friday! And an update on my counter idea. You may remember the Rustoleum copper paint?
Here it is on my piece of counter top. This was 3 coats – and not super even because I was using a foam brush.
This is the coolest paint ever! It brushes on smooth and then forms a hammered pattern, which was fun to watch. See – watching paint dry *is* fun!!
How cool is that? Anyway, this alone is not strong enough to hold up as you can mar the surface. Since I am thinking of doing a counter top with this, it needs to put up with some abuse. So, I put some polyurethane over it.
Now, this is semi-gloss, because that is just what I had on hand from doing the table. I will get the clear glossy polyacrylic if this turns out viable. Now we need to abuse this piece, set stuff on it, drop things on it and see how it holds up.
Even if it doesn’t work as a counter top, I must find another use for it because I love this finish. I am thinking maybe some terra cotta flower pots in my tippy pot planter would look amazing with this!
Hope everyone warms up this weekend!