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handy-dandy strawberry tongs

Friday, May 30, 2014

After my post about strawberries yesterday, I was commenting to a couple SparkFriends about the tongs I use to hull my beloved strawberries.

I think they were designed for olives. But with the little teeth at the end they work beautifully for hulling strawberries. I pick off the leaves with my fingers, then stab the tongs in, squeeze, twist and pull. Presto.

I got them years ago at a store called The Alley. Amazon had them for a while but I could not find them yesterday when I searched for them there.

Edited to add:

Amazon does have them! amzn.com/B000MYFIEW

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 5/30/2014 2:05PM

    Very cool!

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ICEDEMETER 5/30/2014 12:45PM

    What a great idea! The only other tool I've ever seen for that was at a specialty kitchen gadget store: http://www.chefn.com/Product.aspx?i

Of course, long fingernails work too (although it does make a nail brush an absolute necessity)!

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FINCHFEEDER80 5/30/2014 12:20PM

    those are awesome! And probably much less waste than I have trying to eat around the leaves and stem!

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DANALMILLAN 5/30/2014 12:06PM


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strawberry junkie

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Some people may look in their recycle bin and see soda cans or beer bottles and realize they have a problem.

Mine is full of strawberry boxes. At $23 a flat (12 pints per flat and I eat 2 or 3 pints a day) it is not a cheap habit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GYPSYGOTH 5/30/2014 8:08AM

    Dang. They're $4/pint here. Lucky you!
Since it's strawberry season, might as well enjoy them! emoticon

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SUBMOM2 5/29/2014 5:58PM

    I love strawberries. Eat them and enjoy them while they are here!

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/29/2014 2:08PM

    OMG, I can relate. I am a berry addict and have recently gotten great prices on blue and blackberries. Which I eat to excess. (smiling)

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UNSWEETMAMA 5/29/2014 1:58PM

    @ICEDEMETER I'll let you know in September when the stand I go to closes. I don't remember what happened last year. I must have blocked it out.

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UNSWEETMAMA 5/29/2014 1:53PM

    @CHRISTINATODAY I enjoy the taste very much. In fact, I get cranky if people try to talk to me and distract me. I bite them in half and look at the colors inside and the way each seed has a little vein. The bigger ones have a hollow place inside. The riper ones are softer in my fingers and are more fragrant... I have special tongs I use to hull them - I think they are for olives actually, but they work perfectly to remove the place where the stem was connected but leave the berry intact.
emoticon emoticon

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2014TODAY 5/29/2014 1:27PM

    Just one question: do you enjoy the taste consciously when you eat them? emoticon

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ICEDEMETER 5/29/2014 1:21PM

    I'm jealous, too - I'm paying over double that right now (our local ones won't be ripe for many weeks yet), so am doling them out to myself 100g at a time...

So what are the "rules" to be considered a "junkie"? Will you share your strawberries with family and friends, or do you hoard them in different hiding spots so they can't find them? Do you find yourself sneaking off at various times of the day or night to get a "fix"? Do you deprive yourself of other things so that you can keep up your supply? Do you get physical / emotional symptoms when you've gone too long without some (shakes, nausea, headaches, crankiness)?

More importantly - is there treatment available (what would be the methadone equivalent for this --- raspberries? fake jam?) and what happens if you OD????

Just asking for education purposes... not at all because our season is coming up. Nope. Not at all.... emoticon emoticon

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4EVERADONEGIRL 5/29/2014 1:07PM

    Bwahahahaha!!! emoticon

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SDSWTP 5/29/2014 11:35AM

    Nice! (I have the same habit, but can't find them in this quantity...I'm jealous!)

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A Walk in the Vines

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Today my mom and I participated in a walk to raise autism awareness.

As the title suggests, the walk was held in a vineyard.

It was pretty warm out (highs have been nearing 100 F the last few days), but it was fun and we treated ourselves to a relaxing brunch on the patio of a Mediterranean restaurant afterwards.

Learn more about autism at www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism

The event was organized by the Our Nicholas Foundation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLYM48 5/11/2014 7:26AM

    Way to go. You look awesome. Congrats on your success here at SP!

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BEEAUTIFULDAY 5/10/2014 4:06PM

    Congrats to you and Mom. Great cause. Love the pix :)

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4EVERADONEGIRL 5/5/2014 4:29PM

    So glad you and your Mom participated in that together! A great time, in a great place, for a great cause! It doesn't get much better than that...

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    Wow what at awesome place for walk!

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FINCHFEEDER80 5/5/2014 9:19AM

    Oh what a cool venue for a walk! I love the pic of you and your mom, too cute!

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KANOE10 5/5/2014 8:20AM

    That is a great cause. What a pretty walk.


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2014TODAY 5/5/2014 7:10AM

    Well done! How nice that you did this together with your mother!

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SUBMOM2 5/5/2014 1:34AM

    Good for you!

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ALICIA363 5/4/2014 9:23PM


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DMEYER4 5/4/2014 7:19PM

  congrats on your walk for such a great cause. keep up the good work

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calorie wise and pound foolish

Monday, April 21, 2014

In my last blog, I was talking about the fact that I had bought myself a single cookie and was mildly freaked out about it.

emoticon emoticon

There have been many cookies since that day. There have been many PACKAGES of cookies since that day.

For the last couple/few weeks I have been eating like my starting weight was actually my goal weight. It has not been pretty.

But I'm still here. Still trying to work through it.

I've gained a few pounds. My pants are too tight. But I'm here. Riding the wave and trying to get my bearings.

It's Monday and I haven't had any cookies since Friday. I have made other poor choices (6 granola bars on Saturday, for instance) but I'm working on it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERJESSE 5/4/2014 6:59PM

    How nice!

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BEEAUTIFULDAY 4/25/2014 3:43PM

    Been away for a while, but still with you in spirit.

Love the wave.. Thinking of you, been away for awhile, and it's tough. I had a bday celeb yesterday, and ended up eating 3 cupcakes. Just going to move on and start fresh, will you do it with me?

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WHOVIAN3 4/23/2014 8:10AM

    that pic is great! I have to go back to basics,my water intake has been bad,which is causing me to eat more,and leads to poor choices. Sorta like a gateway drug lol! But I am now trying to focus,and hydrate. Its never easy... and when you start to feel it is seems to be when you slip!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 4/22/2014 1:38PM

    You'll get it figured out girlie!!! Love the graphic by the way!

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SUBMOM2 4/22/2014 1:22PM

    A couple slip-ups don't define you. Remember the analogy you've probably read on Spark and elsewhere - when you're driving and get a flat tire, you don't stop the trip, or get rid of the car, etc. No. You fix the tire, and continue on your way.

Clearly, I'm not a writer, but hopefully you get the idea. There is some kind of rough patch going on, but you can handle it and continue on your journey.

You are worth the effort.

emoticon emoticon

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ADARKARA 4/21/2014 6:50PM

    just last night I gorged on 2 pieces of iced lemon pound cake. we can do this!

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SUEPERWOMAN 4/21/2014 6:10PM

I'm sorry, honey. If you want to talk, I'm here!

Love, Sue

(if you want, email me and I will send you my private email address)

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MILLYDALLY 4/21/2014 5:45PM

    Nothing wrong with a little cookie. The problem is a whole bag of cookies (which, unfortunately, I can do...).
But I know what you are feeling... it may be that we want so badly to get back to losing the weight (it seemed so easy and quick!!) that we don't have the patience to build the momentum we need. I am trying- and I hope this idea helps!

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2014TODAY 4/21/2014 3:00PM

    I'm so sorry. What is happening?
I often recommend the Living Binge Free team to others. Don't know if it would work for you but maybe you'd like to check it out. I found a lot of insights and support there. They have an 'hour commitment' thread for example, where you can post for how long after a meal you won't eat. That has often worked for me.

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FINCHFEEDER80 4/21/2014 1:49PM

    Oh my god, that picture is perfect! That's about how I've been feeling lately, too. I'm stress eating more and more as our closing date gets closer. And it's mostly not even junk, it's just too much of everything!

emoticon This too shall pass.

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MOTTAMAMALOU 4/21/2014 1:29PM

    emoticon no doubt about it!

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this makes no sense

Friday, April 11, 2014

I bought myself a cookie at the bakery counter in the grocery store this morning. The thing is, the last time I ate this cookie, I wrote myself a note...

"Note to self: Don't buy that stupid turtle cookie anymore. It's too sweet. It gives you a stomach ache. Okay?"

This isn't even ABOUT the calories people (which are not insignificant at 390 per cookie). This cookie gave me a stomach ache last time I ate it. It tasted overly sweet. AND I STILL WANTED ANOTHER ONE TODAY. WHAT THE HECK IS THAT ABOUT?

I haven't eaten it (yet). The cookie, my appetite and my brain are having a bit of a Mexican standoff.

This makes no sense.


Thank you, everyone, for the supportive comments and suggestions.

After dinner I ate half of the cookie and let my kids split the other half. (They also had one other cookie each.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUEPERWOMAN 4/19/2014 11:35AM


What I am seeing since you have reached you goal and now are at times a little unsteady is that life around our "addiction of choice" will have its ups and downs. We are a society who enjoys our food, and that is not a bad thing. The turtle cookie may always call your name. I guess the way we react to that calling will vary, as our vision and emotions and intentions vary, day by day.
I guess all this verbiage is to say to you that you have, and continue to do, so well. I wish you peace with every single food choice that you make. Me too, lol.

Love you, Sue

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 4/17/2014 11:46PM

    I hope the splitting it worked' it sounds like a good compromise, if it didn't make you sick.

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GERIKRAGH 4/12/2014 10:48AM

    I used to eat tons of cookies that my dad bought. I hated the cookies and could never figure out why I'd eat them. I think it was boredom!

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WAY2GOCAT 4/12/2014 3:17AM

    Did you eat it!

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POSITIVEHOPE 4/11/2014 11:07PM

    Maybe it wasn't the cookie you wanted. Maybe you wanted to feel the feelings you had when you used to buy the cookies. That feeling wasn't there even after you bought it and you were disappointed.
I suggest thanking and congratulating the part of you that resisted. Then talk to that part of you that wanted a "feel good" moment and see if you can figure out what it wanted and how you can take care of those feelings without a cookie.
Just my thoughts.

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ALICIA363 4/11/2014 8:27PM

    Good answers!
I agree with ICEDEMETER: Fighting irrationality with logic has never worked for me.
I hope you find a creative and successful solution, be it internal, external, or a combination of both.

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SUBMOM2 4/11/2014 5:37PM

    Is the cookie cute? I bought a big sugar cookie in the shape of snowman at Starbuck's over Christmas. (With a green tea. Now does that make sense?) But it was just so cute, and I'm not even a cookie person! Anyway, I did take a few bites of his tummy, and it was good, but not worth the calories.

Not a very helpful story, but maybe the "why" is just that simple...it's a cute turtle?

Good luck in the standoff.

emoticon emoticon

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ENDUROVET 4/11/2014 5:30PM

    I am a charter member of the Clean Plate club, so I would have a hard time throwing away a "perfectly good" cookie ;-)
I'd be more inclined to do what I do nowadays when I have my every-once-in-a-while treat of an eclair from the donut shop - I buy my eclair, a frappuccino, and a 2nd donut to make the $5 minimum debit card purchase... I eat the eclair, drink my frapp, take the 2nd donut into the office & toss it to my staff to squabble over...
There are a lot of things I USED to stuff in my face which I have lost my taste for, glory be!
emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/11/2014 5:06PM

    Sugar has a drug-like, addictive effect so there's no mystery about that. It's a tough one to beat. I recently was off of sugar for a month or so. Then, the other day, since I've had a respiratory infection, how did I reward myself for needing a treat? A great big piece of carrot cake. It would have been delish, but tasted awful - the sugar tasted like poison to my body. It was a good experience because now I equate sugar with that taste. The further you get from it, the easier it becomes.

My weakness is the starch - yummy bakery bread, pasta, etc. I've changed things up this week and am feeling the difference already. I think I've made a dramatic shift in my psyche as far as what I want going into my body.

I don't have too many more lbs until goal and now I feel I will really get there. Even if you decide to eat the cookie, tell yourself not to regret it. Tomorrow is a new day with a new way.

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ICEDEMETER 4/11/2014 4:49PM


Hmmm - trying to fight irrationality with logic never seems to work for me, but I hope you have better luck with that.

I'd likely stare the thing down for a while, argue with it for a bit, and eventually throw it at a co-worker or my boss just to get it out of my sight (and besides - it's at least some mild entertainment watching them scramble to catch it). Now that I think of it - that's the same approach that I used to use with paperwork that I didn't want to do...

Hope you manage to avoid the stomach ache!

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2014TODAY 4/11/2014 4:27PM

    emoticon You don't have to make sense. My guess is you still are looking for ways to deal with your new situation. You lost a LOT of weight and you were used to a certain 'mode of operation'. Now the situation is new.
Again, just my guess but you may still need to get used to dealing with this kind of thing. Train your brain. And decide what you will do with suddenly acquired cookies!
Maybe best to not focus on the cookie a lot but on getting in a lot of nutrients / healthy foods today and your exercise? If you can do that and keep doing that the rest (like sudden cookies) may fall into place?

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CAKEMAKERMOM 4/11/2014 4:23PM

    Why do you enjoy the happy feeling you get when you have the cookie in the moment? Is it related to something else that happens along with a cookie? Sounds like you really don't want the cookie anymore and you can pass it along to someone else.

I personally don't like store bought cookies, the waxy feeling the shortening gives my mouth is yucky.

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KRISZTA11 4/11/2014 3:55PM

    That's a tricky one!
Well, you have the cookie now, so you need to be smart and creative : )
My first thought was "eat half of it and throw the rest away" but it doesn't make much sense either...

Comment edited on: 4/11/2014 3:55:38 PM

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