casa de amistad

I go to an amazing church that has a partnership with Casa de Amistad. I decided this year that I was going to volunteer there and I will be able to tutor or as they call us, be a “study companion.” I just had the volunteer orientation and I’m so excited to get started. 2 weeks from today I’ll get matched up with someone from grade 5-12. I didn’t really have a preference, but decided I would start with the older kids. I just have to commit for this semester, and if it goes well, I will continue. I really feel that I have been called to do this, to help someone, to be a part of something greater than myself. I lack confidence in myself, I’ve had a lifetime of low self-esteem, but I feel like if I can help someone to be confident in their school work, then I will have confidence in myself. Yes, that just sounded self-serving, sort of what’s in it for me. But I’ve learned that I do have to take care of number one, and that is me. So for me, helping someone else is going to help me.

Casa de Amistad means “House of Friendship” in Spanish. Most all of the kids that attend this program are Latino. There were so many great stories I heard tonight, and I can’t wait to make a difference in one of the kids lives. More information can be found here.


last night’s dinner~filet mignon with balsamic syrup and goat cheese

Have you ever had anything that just screamed decadence, like you know you shouldn’t be eating this…well that is how this fabulous dish was. Filet is my absolute favorite food, and coupled with goat cheese, I knew I ‘d be happy, but I didn’t know I would be in heaven. This may become my signature dish!

Henry’s had a sale on filet, $7.99/lb. That’s the cheapest I’ve seen it in a while, so I had to splurge and found this amazing recipe on It was so easy, although I wished I had watched the video before I tried to make it,but it turned out fabulously! It was low carb, but a bit too much sugar, I added 1 Tbsp. (I only had 2 servings of steak so I cut the recipe into thirds.)

This gets 5 stars from me!

Here is the photographic evidence:

the balsamic being reduced

the steaks, a bit large, but they weren’t trimmed of fat, obviously!

pan frying the steak

after the flip

goat cheese from costco, i love the name!

going into the broiler

sauteeing the green beans in olive oil with Trader Joe’s everyday seasoning

the fancy hawaiian sea salt i used on the steak

the finished product

Absolutely fabulous. To quote Rachel Zoe, “I Die!”

week 1: -1 lb.

Week 1 is in the books. I was pleasantly surprise to find I was down 1 lb. considering all the junk I ate last week and the little bit of exercise that I got. Only 3 walks last week. Just wasn’t up for it. But I think I’m well on my way this week, and look forward to what it brings.

Here are my stats:

Weight: 238

Week’s loss: 1 lb.      %lost:  .42%

Total lost: 1 lb.      %lost: .42%

BMI:  42.2

Measurements: I’ll take every 4 weeks

Meal Plan: Completed!

Exercise Plan: Walk/Cardio 5 x for at least 30 min.; BodyPump 2 classes this week; Yoga video at home 1-2x this week

  • Monday: Morning walk~38 min.
  • Tuesday: Yoga-20 min (OnDemand rocks!) & Morning walk~38 min.
  • Wednesday: day of rest
  • Thursday: Morning walk~38 min.
  • Friday: another day of rest
  • Saturday: Morning walk~38 min.
  • Sunday: Morning hike~25 min.

Milestone 1 (7 weeks to go): CEP Oct. 22  (16 lbs)


So it took me a few extra days, but I finally had success today with my food choices. I have started to read Women, Food, & God by Geneen Roth and doing the 15-week program on There is a journaling section, and I think it has really helped, ok only 2 days in, but I’m really going to focus on why I overeat and why I choose the ice cream, or chocolate, or candy, or whatever sugar-laden food I can get my hands on.

Today’s food: (just to show that I didn’t have much sugar!)

Breakfast – omelet (2 egg whites, 1 whole egg) with cheese, 1 slice of ham, & onions

Lunch – chicken sandwich and Stacy’s pita chips

Snack – Stacey’s pita chips

Dinner – leftover chicken and potato wedges

I probably should have had something green, but I am calling this a successful day b/c I didn’t eat sugary foods. And I did my grocery shopping and did not buy any sugary foods either. I’m on my way. I think my mind is getting on the right track, which makes me feel good, and makes it easier for me to get up early to walk, to slow down while eating, and to go to the gym after work.

Tomorrow is my week 1 weigh-in. I’m not expecting much, and will be surprised if I gain. Disappointing I know, but that’s just how I feel about how this week went. Well, there’s always week 2, and it’s gonna be a great one!

last night’s dinner~lemon rosemary chicken

So I had an extra chicken breast (a rather large one, so I get 2 servings out of it!), and wasn’t really sure what to have for dinner. So I browsed and found several that combined lemon, rosemary, and olive oil. Lucky I had just bought a rosemary plant! All the recipes were for a roast chicken, and I only had the breast, so I just guessed at the amount of each ingredient. I added some salt and pepper too. For my sides I had roasted veggies (onion, red pepper, & squash, again what I had on hand), where I added a tbsp of olive oil and some salt and pepper to the mix. Then I had some brown rice from Costco, which I could pop into the microwave for 90 sec. So I have a complete meal with stuff I already had on hand. That doesn’t happen too often as I’m a planner and plan out my meals with what recipes I’m going to have.

So here are the pictures of the fantastic dinner.

Vegetables in the oven

lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil mix

huge chicken breast with the lemon-rosemary sauce (i love my little basting brush)

the chicken cooking up in my favorite Calphalon pan

the finished dinner, just waiting to be eaten!

providence, rhode island

Every week, I’m going to catch up on some of my travel adventures. I’ll work backward, this is the most recent trip I took.


July 2010

I spent a few days in Providence with co-workers for a trade show. No time for sightseeing, but we did have a fun night out!

We had dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s, which was delicious, and then we headed to an Irish bar…an Irish bar that had hip-hop night!

DT, TA, & EM looking at some "artwork" maybe

EM & SS laughing...good times

ML sneaking up on PK and TA

PK & TA showing off the love, and DT not paying any attention!

ML & GH's wife, she was a lot of fun!

EM & GH's wife, no I can't remember her name, but she was great, especially for having to put up with GH!

Yes, hip hop night got BM to shake his ass. Check out the guy on the side checkin' out the ass-shakin'.

PK in a serious game of some pass the pigs game or something like that

DT & EM hanging out

EM & ML having fun

my accidental photo, but it does look kinda artsy, doesn't it?

And another one of EM & ML to end the night

last night’s dinner~cayenne-rubbed chicken with avocado salsa

Ok, so it was actually Thursday night’s dinner, but I didn’t have a chance to post yet. I made a healthy dish from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food little mag. It’s the Jan/Feb. 2008 issue. This was the 2nd time I’ve made it, and it was great yet again. I did go a little overboard with the cayenne, and the avocado was a bit overripe, but it was still just as delicious. I love eating healthy!

The Recipe

I used about 1/2 cup of chopped onions

The cayenne, salt, and pepper mix

Chicken coated with the cayenne mix

The finished product!

The Recipe

  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6-8 oz each)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Hass avocado, pitted and cut into chunks
  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and cayenne; rub all over chicken
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. add chicken, and cook until browned on the outside and opaque throughout. 8 to 10 minutes per side.
  3. meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine onion and lime juice; set aside. Just before serving, fold avocado chunks into onion mixture; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken topped with salsa