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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Soul Surfer Movie Review

Ali had been asking me to take her to see this movie since the day it came out.  Unfortunately we'd been a little busy.  So on Monday when she asked me to take her I promised we could go on Thursday, her early day.  We took a few of her friends, Nikki and Stephen too.  What an amazing movie.  I knew the short story of what had happened, because I remember the real life story.  But the actors they cast for the movie were perfect.  And of course the story was so sad, yet uplifting.  We all cried most of the movie, but came out of the theatre with big smiles.  It was great to see a movie that was appropriate for the entire family.  One that didn't have sex, language or drugs and drinking.  Kind of amazing!  If you haven't seen it, go!

iFitness Belt

I purchased this belt after having used the Belkin arm band and getting frustrated with it pinching and chaffing my arms.  I've used the belt four times now.  All of my runs have been 5-6 miles.  The first three times I had zero problems.  The belt was perfect. I  completely forgot it was there.  The only problem I encountered was when a song I didn't want to hear came on with the arm band, I just reached over and hit skip.  This belt holds my phone really tightly and I'd have to completely stop running to pull my phone out enough to change songs.  So yes that forced me to make a playlist of songs I like for running only.  Still there are times I need a powersong and with the belt I'm unable to make that change.

Today however this belt drove me crazy!  It would not stay put.  It kept riding up.  I swear one time it felt like it was right below my bra!  I ended up pulling way down, basically across my butt.  At least that way it stayed put.  I think the difference had to do with the material of my pants.  The photo on the left is from today's run.  The other times I'd run with the belt I wore the more cotton type pants and shorts.  Overall I really love the iFitness Belt and I'll continue to run with it.  If it continues to ride up, I may have to go back to the arm band.  What do you find works best for you? As a new runner I want to find tools to help me but I don't want to spend a fortune going through all kinds of gear that doesn't work well.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fish tacos

Had a yummy dinner tonight.  Pioneer woman posted earlier today about wanting guacamole and it sparked my desire.  I made some salsa, guac and then jumped into the fish tacos.  They were perfect!  I didn't find any mexican crema so I added cabbage and a tropical salsa.  I don't think dinner could've been any better.

Fish Tacos
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
About 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 jalapeño, stemmed and chopped
1 pound flaky white fish (such as mahi mahi or cod), cut into 4 pieces
8 fresh corn tortillas
Mexican crema, homemade or store-bought
Fresh Tomato Salsa 
2 limes, cut into quarters

Marinate the Onion Put the onion in a small bowl and pour in enough red wine vinegar to cover well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or up to several weeks. 

Marinate the Fish Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the ancho chile powder, oregano, cumin, chopped cilantro, and jalapeño. Mix well. Place the fish on a dish and pour the marinade over it, making sure to coat the fish well on both sides. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes.

Cook the Fish Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove the fish from the marinade and place in the hot pan (there is no need to add more oil). Season the fish with salt. Cook the fish for 4 minutes undisturbed, then turn over, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and flake the fish into the pan with a fork, making sure to mix in all the marinade that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Set aside.

Heat the Tortillas Place four of the tortillas on a plate and sandwich them between two slightly dampened sheets of paper towel. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Place the warm tortillas in a towel-lined basket or plate and cover. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. 

Assemble and Serve To assemble the tacos, place a heaping spoonful of the marinated flaked fish onto the center of a tortilla. Top with the marinated onions. Serve accompanied by Mexican crema and salsa. 
Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.

You can use any fish you like so long as you can flake the flesh when it is cooked. Most white fish fall under this category.
Marinated Onions
Once you make this very simple condiment, you will find yourself keeping a container of these onions in your refrigerator to add to all of your dishes.
Don't be alarmed by the amount of vinegar needed to cover the onions completely. Since you will most likely have onions leftover, keep them submerged in the vinegar in a refrigerated airtight container. You can then use the vinegar for your other cooking needs. The onions will keep for several weeks.
The onions and fish can be made up to a day in advance. When reheating the fish, you may want to add about 1 tablespoon of water to make sure the fish does not dry out.

Simply Mexican
May 2009
by Lourdes Castro

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sports or Academics

We've always been a crazy sports family.   From travel ice hockey to club soccer to water polo and swim, we've had lots of intense weekends and some great family times.  Now that our oldest is a Sophomore in high school, we're seeing the commitment necessary to playing high school sports.  He plays water polo and swims and is in the water 6-7 hours a day.  He loves it and I love what it gives him. He's part of a team and has an incredible work ethic.  So now the problem comes in.  We've seen Seniors that are applying to colleges that have maintained incredible grades while committing to their sport.  And they aren't getting in to the colleges of their choice.  The boys that are getting in are the ones that were strictly academic.  These are boys that have done nothing but study and get good grades.  So what to do?  Personally I don't think that would be good for any of my children.  I think the sports keep them focused, in shape and well rounded.  I think socially the sport has helped them grow as people.  We've been told over and over by the counselors to focus on academics rather than sports because much more merit scholarships are awarded than sports scholarships.  But the coaches want to win.  They push these kids to the limits, leaving very little time to study let alone do homework.  If they skip a practice, they risk being benched.  It's a really tough balancing act that as a parent I never know if I'm doing the best thing.  But I  have to think I'm doing what is best for my child.  He may not get into the top college, but he'll have had a high school experience that was balanced and full of great memories.  And in the end, he'll end up in a college that will be right for him.  And as their parents, we'll have had many full, exciting weekends.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Well I started to seriously diet and run outdoors about 9 weeks ago.  I've lost 14 pounds!  I still would like to lose about 10 more, but would be satisfied with 6.  How did I do it?  Well I knew I was eating too much food, but felt like I was eating fairly healthy so I was kind of at a loss.  So I decided to order delivered meals. I joined ediets 5 day a week meal delivery.  Once a week meals are delivered to your door in an ice box.  You refrigerate them and eat them over the next week.  There was 3 meals a day plus one snack.  You were to eat 2-3 servings of fruit as well.  I have to say the food was better than it looked.  I wanted to cry the first day I received my meals.  They were so small and didn't look that appealing.  The thing that I found the most funny was that these were meals I'd never normally eat because I didn't think they were healthy.  But they keep the calories around 1300 per day, so I guess if people feel like they still have some comfort foods they'll be more apt to stick to it.  I just received my last delivery today.  I'm going to try to continue to lose on my own.  I have already shown myself that I can get through the weekends eating out without gaining anything.  So now I just have to figure out how to lose during the week on my own.  I think I can do it, but we'll see.  If not, I can always begin ordering food again until I get to my goal.  But at this point I can use a break anyway.  I don't like eating food I know isn't really healthy and I felt like I wasn't eating nearly enough vegetables.

The running is going well too.  I'm up to 5 miles this week.  My times have been getting better.  I'm able to maintain a 10 minute mile the whole 5 miles.  Next week I'll be up to 6 miles.  I still need to work in more stretching time and yoga and probably by next week it will become more important.  I'm looking for a free weekend to do a 5k with Bill and Nikki.  So far I haven't been able to find a free weekend, but I will.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ali's spring photo

I have a new app on my phone, instagram.  It has all kinds of built in, fun filters.  I took a photo of Ali's 8X10 with my phone and then applied one of the filters to it.  It was cute as the photo itself, but once I took a picture of it on my phone it looked flat.  The filter softened it enough that I thought it turned out really cute.  

Now how honest should I be?  These spring photos really bug me.  They take the pictures at school.  You don't pay for them, so everyone takes one.  Then they send home a package of cute pictures.  You're supposed to pay something like $13/ sheet.  Some sheets have one photo others have more, depending on the size.  Well of course after seeing them, I always feel like I have to purchase at least 2 sheets.  Then I find out that most people just keep the photos and never send in the money.  I've been told that since we didn't agree to take them before hand we don't owe the money.  Now I completely agree that I didn't ask for the photos and probably wouldn't even have them taken if given the option because we already had school photos in the Fall.  But this is also someone's business and I'd feel like I was stealing if I didn't pay for them.  What do you think, is it wrong to keep them without paying for them?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another great chicken recipe

Tried a new recipe for chicken thighs tonight.  It was awesome!  I pulled the skin off of mine and the kids.  Hubby ate everyone else's skins!  Nice to have a new healthy chicken recipe to add to the rotation.  Check it out:

Life of a SAHM

So this afternoon as I was sitting down for the first time all day at my computer, my oldest daughter says to me, "Mom is that what you do all day.  Or what do you do?"  Sometimes I wonder myself what I do all day and how the hours can just disappear without much getting accomplished.  She I gave her the run down of my day:

Dropped the girls off at school.
Came home, picked up the kitchen.
Went for a 5 mile run.
Showered for the 2nd time today.
Went to deliver Meals on Wheels.
Met Lisa for lunch at Podge's in Claremont.
Went to the grocery store.
Dropped off and put away groceries.
Picked up the girls.
Sat down at my computer while girls worked on homework.

Yep that's what I did today.  It seems pretty unproductive even though I was busy the entire day.  I think that's going to be something I work on.  I'm going to set aside days or at least blocks of time for specific activities that I want or feel need to get done.  First on that list will be working on my scrapbook.  Second might be spring cleaning.

Now I'm off to start dinner since Stephen usually arrives home famished.  How about you, what do you do with your days?  And do you feel like you have a lot of missing hours in the day?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Fighter

We went to dinner last night with The Filpi's.  Stephen invited Sammy to come along as well.  We went to La Tolteca, and had to split up with the kids on one side of the restaurant and adults on the other.  Dinner was fabulous as always.  Then we headed back to our house.  The kids went out and swam (yes the pool is barely 70 degrees!), and the adults watched The Fighter.  It's my goal to watch all 10 movies that were nominated for Academy Awards.  I've seen more this year than in any other year!

We all really liked the movie.  I don't think it was meant to be as much as a comedy as we found it to be.  The eighties hair and clothing just cracked us up!  The music was great, even the cars were hilarious to us.  Lisa just liked looking at Mark Wahlberg!  It was a really good movie, probably one of the better ones on the list so far.