Monday, January 31, 2011

Eleven in 11: Evaluating January

Well, it's the end of the first month of 2011. I thought I would go back and update you all (more so make sure I'm accountable to myself) on the progress of Eleven in 11.

The breakdown:
1. Volunteer opportunity- Still working on it. Tim and I just joined an organization that should help in this area.
2. The weight loss one- I'm still rolling pretty well with this one. :)
3. Plan and take honeymoon- We've started the planning. We've got the location picked, and a date in mind. Just waiting to see if it will all fall into place.
4. Trying four new recipes- I think we surpassed this one! We've done:
5. Blog three times a week- I think we're keeping you filled in on what's up. I'm always trying to come up with new ideas to improve the blog.
6. Student loan- The dreaded student loan. Nothing to me is more gratifying than when I pay for my education. I've already set up the payments for both my loan and Tim's scary law school loan.
7. Savings!- I'm getting ready to transfer funds now.
8. Read 52 books- This one I am having trouble with. I've struggled to finish two this month. But, I think I can double up soon if I get some spare time. I need to post the book reviews.
9. Facebook birthdays- I'm doing much better than I've ever done. I think I may have missed a day or two, but not more than that.
10. Visit 12 new restaurants- I'm going to go ahead and say even though it turned out we'd been before...that we tried something 'new' at this one.
11. Etsy- I have bought a few new things to work on this. More info coming soon!

Overall, I think we're headed in a good direction. The whole purpose of this isn't to finish in one month, but to keep making progress throughout the year. I'm still looking forward to all the possibilities 2011 has offer.

Restaurant Review: Johnny's Pizza

Tonight was our last chance at squeezing in a "new" place as part of my Eleven in 11. I'll be honest, we tried to go somewhere else tonight in Columbus and it was needless to say, Mom, Tim and I were in a hunger jam.

We had passed by the Johnny's pizza place and I couldn't remember if it was the same one that is in Auburn (though I'm pretty sure it's Johnny Buscos)...however, upon getting inside and checking out the menu...I'm almost positive I've been to one of these in Carrollton. So, I didn't want to cheat. I wanted to make the geniune effort to try something new. And I did. I opted for the Hawaiian. It always sounds like it could be tasty, but I always grab a calzone. Well, since starting WW, calzones are not really an option. I ordered the slice and a small salad with reduced fat dressing.

All in all it wasn't that bad. It was certainly different. But, not bad. It hasn't become my new favorite, but I'm sure I'd eat it again if we stopped by. I'm very excited that their website contains nutrition facts. ALWAYS a huge plus for me since I'm constantly calculating things. Between the slice, the salad, and the dressing my whole meal was 16 points. Not bad for someone who saves the majority of her points for dinners anyways, and certainly not bad for eating out. (Maybe one day I'll blog about the tragedy that is Applebee's lunch menu- SCARY POINTS!).

If you like the crusty thin pizza, you'll love the place.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Know What You Are Thinking...

Where are all the recipes this week? Well, I've taken a break from cooking this week. I've left the job all up to mom. Things have been crazy busy at work (since you know, having to finally work on Mondays again). But, rest assured that even though we've taken a break from cooking, we haven't taken a break from being healthy. In fact, yesterday was my 100th day of tracking WW points. I'm quite happy to report my total weight loss is close enough to 22 pounds.

Which, by the way, has sparked a sudden urge to shop. All of my pants have gotten too big that it is to the point of unprofessional to look so baggy. This morning, with pleasure, I unpacked some of my smaller sized clothing. I'm also planning a trip with Tim to Atlanta this weekend (hopefully) to either Mall of GA, Lennox...or both. Any recommendations?

Speaking of shopping. I've been hitting up some online sales. I recently purchased this bathing suit on sale to be my motivation to keep losing into summer:

Has the matching Low Rise Moderate Coverage bottom.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Chick-fil-A Cow is busted for working on a Sunday!

That's right! Busted:
Exhibit A: Cow at Auburn Basketball game.

I thought Chick-fil-A took this Sunday non-work day seriously. Well, must not be too seriously. We totally watched the cow perform alongside Aubie at a women's basketball game versus Tennessee on Sunday. We also ate Chick-fil-A fries at the game. Granted, they were not in a Chick-fil-A box...but they were in fact those famous waffle potato fries.

Anywho, that wasn't the main point of tonight's entry. I just wanted to share some fun shots from the game. Our dearest pals Mel and Chris hooked us up with faculty seating at the game and it was sooooo cool to watch from the floor (even if we lost).

Wooo! Cheerleaders. I wish I could do that!


Aubie again.

Check out Tim's green sweater! 

Auburn women's basketball. And Tennessee women's basketball.

Did she not get the memo that orange AND blue are our colors too? I thought this was the Auburn coach  for the longest while...


More players.

Get 'em Tiger!

I went to school there 3 years (ish) and never noticed this sign.


Auburn: National Champions!

I also have some videos for your entertainment pleasures. The first one is of me doing the arena Tiger Walk:

And this other is really crazy. It was the halftime show at the game...he was a tight rope gymnast or something. The ending is pretty epic so if you get bored fast forward to the end (though the commentary from Mel, Chris and Tim makes me giggle):

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Date Night Movie Review: The Green Hornet

Tonight on a random decision, Tim and I went to see the Green Hornet. We love Seth Rogen. We made the unfortunate mistake of seeing it in 3D. It was our first time ever using the little eyegoggle thingers, and hopefully the last. I already need to wear glasses at the movies, so ditching my regular glasses for the 3D ones made me hesitant. It was also pretty blurry for Tim. Everything seemed out of focus in the peripheral. The only in focus item would be the one you are directly looking at. As for the movie, I thought it was pretty good. Tim said it was ok. He thought the best dialog was in the trailer. I'm going to rewatch the trailer to see if I agree/disagree.

Eh, it is a toss up. If you aren't willing to pay the $7-10 to see it, at least pay the $2-4 to rent or catch OnDemand. I'm sure it's done well enough to warrant a sequel. And, if it does, I'd pay the $7-10 to see it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quick Fix Lunch: Creamy Bow Tie Pasta

This isn't a regular Dinner at Our House post, but I just had to share with you all the lunch I just tried out on this lazy holiday Monday. I'm at the computer scanning my usual suspects (Skinnytaste, tasteofhome, and allrecipes) looking for things to make for the week. I'm actually not looking for anything new, but rather I am checking out my "saved" lists.

However, I stumbled across this little gem that is going down as one of my new favorite quickie lunches (I may even whip up another batch tonight to take for work tomorrow). If I do the math correct, the WW total for this would be 5 points. I'm not quite sure that what I just made would amount to that though. We keep all low fat, fat free, etc products in our home (Update: I did the tedious math on all of our products at home and it brought it down to 4 points). I'll have to take some time to figure it up. Try it for yourself, it took me little to no time to prepare and we had all the ingredients at our house.


  • 1 cup uncooked bow tie pasta
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Dash salt
  • Dash dried basil
  • Dash crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the oil, flour, garlic and seasonings until blended. Gradually add the milk, broth and water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  • Remove from the heat; stir in cheese and sour cream. Drain pasta; toss with sauce. Yield: 2 servings

She's Crafty: Scrapbooking for Mel

I finally did it! I finally finished Mel's scrapbook (Read: my parents are rejoicing that they once again have control over their dining room table). We had her big bachelorette evening on July 24, and here it is almost 6 months, 75 pages, and 3 pounds of book later...I've done it. I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite photos from the night and a couple of pages to celebrate.
One of my favorite photos from the night. Taken by Dwoody. The photographer I hired to take all the photos for the evening. 

Front cover!

Look how thick this little thing was.

These were some die-cuts that someone from etsy sent me for free!

And this is paper and custom die-cut letters I had made at the local store.

A blingin' page.

The mate to the other page.

And that is all you are allowed to see to protect the innocent. Ha! Just kidding. Really, all we did was knit and crochet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day Trip to Auburn

Yesterday, Mom, Tim and I went on a quick impromptu visit to Auburn. We had a mission. Eat at Amsterdam Cafe and find my brother a t-shirt for his birthday. Tim and I love love love love LOVE Amsterdam. I seem to always go with the turkey wrap (one of their famous items). He had a rib-eye sandwich and mom went with soup/salad. The atmosphere is always nice and it's just an all around fun treat. Two doors down, while we waited for seating, I visited a newer store called Perch. It had beads and jewelry so I got excited! Anyways, enjoy the photo log of our short visit:

Love it!

A little fuzzy but I wanted to pose!

I'm so proud of my mom for taking this picture. She is camera-illiterate. 

Trees on College St. near Toomer's corner are STILL rolled.

Hargis Hall. Home to the Graduate School.

Bird and Key charms I bought at Perch. Can't wait to let them inspire me to craft up something fun!

Secret Weapon for Weight Loss

I thought I'd do quick mention of my new food scale. I got it a few weeks back and LOVE it. We often lie to ourselves about our portion sizes. This little gadget keeps me accountable. I can look at the serving size on a package, portion that out with the scale and enjoy!
Every morning I eat a 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thin with Yogurt Butter. This butter says 14g for a serving.

Using my Sharper Image scale purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond, I measure exactly 14g.

I then enjoy it on my bagel thins! My breakfast is only 2 WW pts exactly. You'll notice the 14g is plenty to cover the surface area of the bagel thins.
The scale is great to everything. I like to use it to measure out chips, especially once you get to the bottom of the bag and you can't count out the serving size. Do yourself a favor and invest in one of these. You can find a range in price from about $20-$50. My scale was $30

Saturday, January 15, 2011

She's Crafty!

So I thought I'd try to update you all on something other than the cooking we've been doing (though you all have given us some great positive feedback! Thanks to everyone who has tried a recipe and let us know!!)

I thought I'd post a few photos of some of the crafty things I've been up to lately.

For Christmas gifts this year I made these:

Me painting a tray red.

After adding white stripes.

Gee I wonder where this orange and white tray is going...

black stripes?!?

Finished gift #1

It is MUCH harder to freehand paint an AU than a G...
Paw prints!

Those are just some trays I made. Very easy to do if you have the patience. I've also been dabbling a bit in jewelry making...

A UGA necklace I've made. It's actually more of a choker.

Earrings that match a necklace.
Matching necklace.

War Eagle necklace haha. I made this one as a gift.

Earrings I made Carrie (UGA themed)
The necklace I made Carrie

So yeah. That is one of the many hobbies I've taken on. I really enjoy it. I'm hoping to take this collegiate theme somewhere and make enough to support the hobby (not necessarily a profit, though that would be nice).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dinner at Our House: Weight Watchers Chinese Night

I know, I know. I'm probably going to burn out on trying new stuff and not have anything left for the rest of 2011. I promise it'll be old items for the rest of the week. But, tonight I'm thrilled to share with you something we tried tonight that I absolutely loved and it definitely WW friendly. And hey, by the way, just because something is WW friendly does not mean it lacks taste! My husband and father have been enjoying these dishes too. Since they aren't on WW they actually eat more (so jealous- but then again, maybe not because I've lost 19 lbs to date).

Tonight we tried WW General Tso's Chicken. Tim and I LOVE our Asian inspired dishes. Our favorite restaurant is a place in Athens, GA called Doc Chey's. Doc Chey's is amazing and I will never be able to recreate their tasty cuisine, but I can dream. We love to get their spicy version of General Tso's Chicken lovingly called "General Chey's Chicken." Missing out dinner staple we decided to look for a healthy version of the dish. After much time spent on Google I found this one. It looked a little funny making...but it turned out quite well.

·         3/4 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
·         2 tablespoons cornstarch
·         2 tablespoons sugar
·         2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
·         1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
·         1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
·         2 teaspoons peanut oil
·         2 medium scallions, chopped
·         2 medium garlic cloves, minced
·         1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 dried chili, minced
·         1 lb uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
·         2 cups cooked white rice, kept hot

1.    In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar, oy sauce, vinegar and ginger; set aside.

2.    Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions, garlic and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes.

3.    Add reserved sauce and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.

4.      Serve chicken and sauce over rice. Yields about 1 cup of chicken and sauce and 1/2 cup of rice per serving.

You too can have all this for just 6WW pts!

Some things we did different. We didn't use scallions, we used the left over cut up onion and pepper from the previous night. We also used jasmine rice instead of white rice. All in all a pretty tasty dinner!

National Champions! Auburn Wins!

I'm so proud to be an Auburn Tiger. Good game ducks, but the SEC prevailed.


Proud to be an alum!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dinner at Our House: SEC in the "SouthWest"ern Steak Quesadillas I am on pins and needles waiting for tonight's BCS National Championship game between Auburn and Oregon!!! When I planned the menu this week I wanted to make something festive for dinner tonight. I found a recipe for quesadillas, but I didn't like it. So I instead found a recipe for Southwestern Flank Steak that I really liked, then decided to have some fun with it. As an avid Auburn Tiger...I named it "SEC in the "SouthWest"ern Steak Quesadillas"

The marinade alone sounded super yum. We used the marinade from the SW Flank Steak recipe and put it on some small thin sirloins that I bought.  I'll post it below:


  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 beef flank steaks (1 pound each)


  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven ingredients; add beef. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Drain and discard marinade. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill beef, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°).
  • Let stand for 5 minutes; thinly slice across the grain. Yield: 8 servings.

Remember, though, we did not use flank steak. We used 1lb. of essentially sirloin meat. After letting it marinate over night I took it out this evening and got to work. I cut it into smaller strips and put it in a skillet with light cooking oil spray. I added in some veggies and then we slapped it together with reduced fat Mexican blend cheeses and a low fat tortilla. Presto! Dinner was served.

Mmmmm peppers and onions!


This one worked out a little better because we put them on one side.


Notice that I forgot to photograph before taking out a bite haha!

We also served this dish with Taco Rice plus some salsa. It comes in a package at the store. I only had half a serving (and we prepared it without the extra oil) so the rice was 2WW pts. As for the steak quesadilla, the total WW pt value was 10 pts. (6 meat filling, 2 cheeses and 2 tortilla). It would have been best if we could have had the total fat free tortillas. Oh well though! I also wish I had been able to grill the steak. I think that would have been best too.

Alright, well...this could either be the best night or thr worse. Let's get our hand up for Bodda Getta!

Bodda Getta, Bodda Getta, Bodda Getta, Bah
Rah Rah Rah, Sis Boom Bah 
Weagle, Weagle 
Kick Em In The Butt 
Big Blue. Hey!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snacking at Our House: Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

And I do believe this takes us to recipe #4 for the month. I've already made it to a benchmark in my Eleven for 2011! Today I was menu planning for the week and every time we sit down to dinner my dad says "Well, this was good, now what is for dessert?" Nine out of ten times I haven't been making a dessert because let's face it- dessert is not always WW friendly. At least not desserts that my dad and Tim would care for (sugar free, taste free). But, today looking through my handy tasteofhome cookbook from Mom S. I got the idea to make these 4pt treats. I present to you...Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies!

The pan! I wish I had swirled them a little more but it was very thick.

My brownie. I wish I had vanilla ice cream...

Cannot believe this was only 4 WW pts! <3


  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup HERSHEY®’S Cocoa
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese


  • Separate two eggs, putting each white in a separate bowl (discard yolks or save for another use); set aside. In a small bowl, beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar until crumbly. Beat in the whole egg, one egg white and vanilla until well combined. Combine flour and cocoa; gradually add to egg mixture until blended. Pour into a 9-in. square baking pan coated with cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Beat in the second egg white. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls over the batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until set and edges pull away from sides of pan. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 dozen.
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