ADARKARA's SparkPeople Blog ADARKARA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Christmas Week Menu This month has seriously run over me. Parts of it have been awesome, I mean, I've had at least one day that I would like to relive more than once. And other parts, such as my high level of hormonal anxiety, really, really sucked. <BR> <BR> BUT, the week of Christmas is here, and yet another week of food. <BR> <BR> Sunday: Potato & Sausage Lasagna (This pain in my butt consists of sliced potatoes, ricotta/parmesan/egg/spinach blend, Italian sausage/mushroom blend, and a bechamel sauce all ... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:48:32 EST Call Me Whatever You Want, Just Don't Call Me Late For Latkes (This blog is brought to you in part by Ed Sheeran's "Don't" because it is currently stuck in my head for no reason, haha. Probably because I heard it on the radio the other day.) <BR> <BR> So I wanted to write a blog yesterday, other than the Ugly Holiday Sweater entry, but work became so crazy I didn't get the chance. While I am definitely exaggerating when I say this: the worse possible thing that could have possibly happen happened at work yesterday. I was asked to call customers about a... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 06:52:24 EST Sparkpeople Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest Here is my Boss man's sister, Sunny, wearing her Hanukkah sweatshirt! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:07:17 EST Weekly Menu Hey all! <BR> <BR> I'm feeling much, MUCH better today, thanks. I'm still not back to normal, but I really think a large majority of my mood is related to hormones this week. (As in, I still have anxiety for a reason I can't define, but if the calendar is right I should feel right as rain in a day or two.) <BR> <BR> So anyway, I've been slacking on my menus lately, at least posting them, so here you go: <BR> <BR> Sun: Ham (mmm, ham) with Scalloped Potatoes & Broccoli (I do a cheesy scallop... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 05:47:52 EST Struggling I am not doing well emotionally today at all. Hubs and I are working on our marriage. We both want it to work, but are somewhat struggling right now with working towards solutions. In the process of working on this, I've had a bit of a downturn in self esteem. I have no idea what I'm good at, other than being pretty self-aware of my emotions and thought process. I guess I'm also good at accomplishing something if I decide I want to, like losing weight or working out. I want to keep improving,... Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:32:10 EST Zee Quilt, She is Done! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I decided to sign it in fabric pen as opposed to embroidering. Because, well, I'm LAZY. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I also have butter mints drying, and tonight will make Fleur de Sel Caramels and maybe cookies. I'm on a roooooooll. Sun, 14 Dec 2014 15:19:37 EST Winter Isn't So Bad Sometimes (This blog brought to you in part by "Sideways" by Citizen Cope.) <BR> <BR> I didn't really want to get out of bed this morning. Five AM in December is a cold, dark hour. Plus it's Saturday, a day when most people are sleeping in, dreaming sweet dreams and waking up with the sun with a smile. But, again, it's Saturday, so it's a work day for me. So I got my sweet *ss out of bed and made coffee and hopped on Spark to check blogs and log my food for the day. I have been logging everything as b... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 10:39:38 EST As Requested (This blog brought to you in part by Joe Purdy's song "Andrea" because THAT'S MY NAME!!!!! Do you know how hard it is to find a song with my name in it?! Or with hazel eyes in it? Thanks, Kelly Clarkson!) <BR> <BR> Pic of new jacket: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Pic of the necklace and earrings I mentioned I was going to make: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hope it's not too... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:23:25 EST O Holy Crap! (This blog is brought to you in part by "Days Are Forgotten" by Kasabian.) <BR> <BR> Forgive me Sparkies for I have sinned. It has been EIGHT DAYS since my last blog. <BR> <BR> Time for a minor freak out. <BR> <BR> IT'S ONLY 2 WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <BR> <BR> I have put up NO decorations, written NO Christmas cards, I haven't ordered our prime rib and don't have the quilt finished. (Ok, it's almost finished, I just need to put the edging on. It will be in... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:24:29 EST The Randomness is Back! I am sitting here at work rocking out to Arctic Monkeys' "Stop The World I Wanna Get Off With You" and enjoying my lunch (mashed butternut squash with cinnamon and homemade crepes with leftover turkey breast and swiss) and bouncing in my chair. <BR> <BR> I feel good today. I got a crap ton accomplished this morning. I (finally) pinned the quilt, and tonight I'm going to start doing the actual quilting bit. Then I got the fixings for split pea with ham soup in the crockpot, and made chocol... Tue, 2 Dec 2014 13:39:29 EST Ready to go Back to my Routine (Kinda ranty, sorry) (This blog is brought to you in part by "Happiness" by The Fray. I seem to be on kick of The Fray this week, despite not even really listening to them lately! And also "Get Home" by Bastille) <BR> <BR> I am a person of routine. I used to think I wasn't, but I am. I like things to go how I expect them to go, and when that's shaken up, it throws me for a loop sometimes. So holidays screw with me often. Thursday was a good day. I was busy for the most part during the day and in the evening I go... Sat, 29 Nov 2014 10:58:31 EST Heartless?! This blog is brought to you IN FULL by The Fray's cover of "Heartless" by Kanye West because the turkey breast I got for Thanksgiving didn't come with any giblets or neck, and NO HEART! I was supposed to be having my own personal Thanksgiving tradition of eating the turkey heart every year and Shadybook Farms ruined it for me! <BR> <BR> So anyway, I had a pretty darned good Thanksgiving this year. It was super low key. I rolled out of bed at 5:45 to discover I was the last person up. We lou... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 11:10:11 EST Thanksgiving I'm not going to have time to blog tomorrow, so I'm going to get a jump on things. <BR> <BR> First: Workout this morning sucked. I made it through 2 of the 3 rounds and then felt like I was going to pass out. Probably should go back to eating something before my workout. On top of this, my MIL decided she was going to sit on the couch and just watch me work out. Uhm. Didn't like that so much. So I quit after round 2 and hung my head between my legs (literally) while my English muffin was in... Wed, 26 Nov 2014 10:20:09 EST Another Quickie So my hubs did something the other day that I told him I was going to blog about, and I haven't, and he keeps asking me about it, haha. <BR> <BR> Weds night I came home from work and felt a little cranky because my blood sugar was all weird and messing with me for some reason. I felt weak and moody and ravenous, but I had to cook the food before we ate. He asked me if he could help with anything, so I joked: <BR> <BR> "Yes you can peel me a tangerine and feed it to me while I cook." <BR> ... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:55:00 EST Of Afternoon Tea, Renewing Friendships, Pigs and A Cinderella Moment So if you read me regularly you'll know I am trying to renew some friendships that I've let fall by the wayside. Yesterday I had brunch with my friend Mia. Mia is a very successful hair and makeup stylist. Right now she does mostly weddings, but she just launched a line of makeup so hopefully she'll have a steadier year-round income. She works her butt off and she deserves all the success she gets, because she earns it. However, in hanging out with her yesterday I was reminded of some of the ... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:29:44 EST Fruit & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=2832878 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Fruit & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash <BR> <BR> 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded <BR> 3/4 cup red quinoa <BR> 1 cup onions, chopped <BR> 1/2 cup Trader Joes Golden Berry Blend <BR> 1 oz. slivered almonds <BR> 2 T butter, divided <BR> 1 T Garam Masala <BR> Salt & Pepper to Taste <BR> <BR> <BR> Directions <BR> Preheat oven to 400 degrees. <BR> <BR> Place acorn squash... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 16:06:43 EST In A Perfect World... ...I would be here: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> With a cup of hot tea and a good book. And maybe a sexy half-naked man, but honestly today that's optional. I kinda just want to sleep. And not do the 150 things on my to do list. <BR> <BR> *sigh* Sat, 22 Nov 2014 12:34:35 EST My Crazy Wonderful Morning (This blog brought to you in part by Arctic Monkeys' R U Mine? because I was lucky enough to hear it on the radio during my morning debacle.) <BR> <BR> It's not even noon yet and my morning has been a little nuts. <BR> <BR> Like every Wednesday, I got up at 5, emptied my bladder, made coffee, weighed myself (170.0 ugh) and sat down to read some stuff on my phone. Bingley curled up with me, and was mad when I got up to make myself a cup of coffee, but settled back down when I got back to th... Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:24:27 EST Good Food: A Blessing and A Curse It's a Fireplace Day today. By that I mean it's cold outside, cold enough to wear gloves, and a little overcast, and all I want to do right now is throw on my flannel PJs and my robe and curl up under a blanket. There's only one problem with this: I don't have a fireplace. Boo. That and my Aunt is visiting from Florida and leaves tomorrow so I want to see her before she leaves, so I can't PJ it, I've got to clothes it. I want to see my aunt but I am not in "venture outside and deal with peopl... Sun, 16 Nov 2014 13:15:25 EST Of Wisdom, Guidance, and the Season of Giving A lot of people I know lately have off-handedly commented to me about how *old* they are. I don't mean they're saying "oh I'm 27" I mean "oh God, I'm so old." <BR> <BR> This thought doesn't strike me often. I don't feel old. I've never felt old. (Okay, once, when I was entertaining a pair of merchant services processors for my Bossman while he was helping a customer and one of them told me he was born in 1994. I felt old then.) I've always, *always* felt too young. I've always been a little... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 07:26:33 EST Of Energy, Projects, Clothes and Snow (and some other things) (This blog brought to you in part by "Happy Little Pill" by Troye Sivan) <BR> <BR> I have energy this morning. A surplus. <BR> <BR> I woke up before the alarm after a dream reminded me of some of my insecurities. I spent a half hour or so sipping coffee and thinking. I decided I didn't want to feel anxious today (it IS that time of my cycle where anxiety gets to me, but I had a surplus of brooding on Monday night/Tuesday so I told myself NO) so I got up off my butt and did stuff around the... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 11:23:56 EST Veteran's Day Rambles First off: I finished the quilt topper! Evidence, with feet! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I bought the batting and some bent safety pins but I need to go back and get the backing and bias tape because I forgot to bring a sample of the fabric with me for reference. <BR> <BR> So this morning, as usual, I was up at 5. For some reason I was flipping the channels and I came across a documentary called "The Last Patrol". Here's a synop... Tue, 11 Nov 2014 13:38:22 EST Fighting Something? I'm still in that vague place between illness and allergies. Still a tiny sore throat, still a little sore back, slight achyness all over and TIRED. I'm sleeping just fine. Last night I got into bed around 9 and didn't wake up until the alarm went off at 5, just like the night before and the night before that. So it's not like I'm not sleeping. I just don't feel rested. My sinuses are bothering me just a tiny bit today but mostly I feel tired in my face. Does anyone know what I mean by that? ... Sat, 8 Nov 2014 12:52:31 EST The Early Morning Rambles Are Back! Okay, so, I'm blogging from my phone, so forgive me if it's weird textually. <BR> <BR> (This blog is brought to you in part by the droning of my refrigerator as it's just turned 6 am and I've already used the songs that are currently stuck in my head in previous blogs.) <BR> <BR> Things are pretty good here. Nothing super special going on. I'm still avoiding sewing, but I've got a free weekend so I'm going to make myself watch silly movies and run the machine. I *know* I can finish the top... Thu, 6 Nov 2014 06:35:18 EST Two Months of Kettlebells Jeans Comparison Shot (this blog is brought to you by Bush's The Only Way Out, which is one of my current obsessions. Plus a couple of lines of it are particularly poignant to me just now: <BR> <BR> "Follow me down to the water <BR> Through the trip wires in your head <BR> Through the seven layers <BR> of your holy bed <BR> <BR> Where there is no one guard <BR> But a series of systems" <BR> <BR> Sounds like my brain, no? <BR> <BR> BTW, I only realized a few days ago that Bush has been putting out consistently ... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 07:58:29 EST In Which I Realize Something About Myself and Emulate Tolstoy (I want to preface this ridiculously long psychological slog through my mind with telling you that I am not telling you any of this because I feel like a victim. I'm simply working through something internal, and it requires backstory. My past is my past, and it happened, and nothing is going to change that. I'm just trying to move on from the fallout.) <BR> <BR> My status update this morning was the following: <BR> <BR> "It's true what they say. Losing weight and getting healthy will not s... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:02:50 EST Live In The Moment Sorry if I'm whispering. I don't know why I was speaking so quietly. Maybe in reverence of nature. <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> UGH And sorry about all the vibraty noises. I figure out someone was sending me messages from Facebook Messenger. <BR> <BR> (This blog is brought to you in part by Tove Lo's "Habits" because it gets played on the radio so much I never quite get it out of my head.) <BR> <BR> Hey all! Just a bit of life philosophy this time. Nature called and I answered. <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:31:31 EST I Appreciate You I think most of us are here for a lot of the same reasons, the most important of which is support. <BR> <BR> We support each other by sharing successes, failures, recipes, workouts, strategies. We also support each other with compliments. <BR> <BR> I wrote a blog not long ago about working on accepting compliments. We have to work on not putting ourselves down to others, and not using abusive language in our own heads. I've never been one to put myself down internally much, but I do have ... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:27:10 EST Of My Past, Dreams, and User Errors Has there ever been someone from your past that pops up in your memories or your dreams randomly, so they're never really ever clear from your mind? <BR> <BR> 2003 was not a great year for me. <BR> <BR> I was attending Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI for Architecture. I was taking 18 or 19 credits every semester. The major required a course called Studio, which was the design course (where you design a project, do drawings and build 3d models before getting your designs ripped ap... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:39:09 EST Fighting For Your Health So now that I have this new kettlebell routine that doesn't require having a video streaming, I've been watching Comcast's Music Choice Rock Channel. I tried the metal channel, because heavy metal is awesome, but unfortunately there's a bit too much death metal and screamo on that channel. The MC Rock Channel is way better, and in spite of occasionally playing Foo Fighters or (ugh) Nickelback, most of the stuff on there is pretty good. I've discovered 3 new bands I like. This week's winner is... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:04:44 EST First World Problems Yeah. It's me again. <BR> <BR> I have a serious first world problem. <BR> <BR> My name is Andrea. I'm 33 years old. And I have no clue how to dress my body. <BR> <BR> *the crowd murmurs "hi Andrea"* <BR> <BR> Okay so maybe that's not entirely true. What I mean is I have no CONFIDENCE in dressing my body. I hem and haw and spend hours if not days mulling over whether or not a fashion choice I make actually looks good, or if I am secretly making a giant joke out of myself. <BR> <BR> Th... Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:39:28 EST I've Become "That Person" You know. That person who loves working out. That person who thinks sweat is an accomplishment. <BR> <BR> When did this happen? <BR> <BR> It must have been slow and over time. Or maybe... just maybe... I really have found the workout that I truly love. <BR> <BR> I know you guys have heard me ramble about my kettlebell and how much I love it. More than a month later and it's still true. I've stepped up my workout twice already! I bought my new best friend on September 2nd and have gone fr... Wed, 15 Oct 2014 13:39:56 EST 100-lb Lost Reward Hike (This blog brought to you in part by The Tea Party's "Luxuria") <BR> <BR> I want to dwell in yesterday a little longer. I want to remember the overcast, cool day, the mountains and trees and sky, the moist chill in the air, the mist on my face as we sat by the pond. <BR> <BR> The day started out slow. Mondays are bells days for me, and I really love bells day. I have a routine now. Up at 5, coffee, reading, maybe get some bookkeeping work done, have some nuts to get some energy. Around 6:1... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:11:22 EST Portuguese Lesson #4 Today we talk about the WEATHER!!!!! Sun, 12 Oct 2014 13:50:42 EST Weekend Ramblings (this blog is brought to you in part by Florence + The Machine's Bedroom Hymns) <BR> <BR> I'm going to delay my vlog until tomorrow when the weather's better, because it's really cruddy and muddy and I have 2 dogs to watch today (watching Bossman's dog) and I think what I'm going to do is drag them to the park with me and tie them up at a pavilion of I can snag one. <BR> <BR> Last night I stayed up late having a fantastic chat with a friend and watching Bill Maher's HBO special, so I didn... Sat, 11 Oct 2014 14:22:23 EST The Drama Llama Strikes Again! (This blog is brought to you in part by OK Go's "Get Over It" because Saleswoman has done nothing but b*tch about everything all day long. Which is what she does every day. All day. When she's not outside smoking cigarettes.) <BR> <BR> Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. <BR> <BR> Okay, I'm exaggerating. Nothing terrible has happened. Things just aren't going super smoothly. That thing I can't talk about regarding work has fallen through, so things are kind of tense ar... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 14:12:26 EST Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Trip 2014 Well I *wanted* to post a short video I took of part of the Final Joust where we're all cheering for the bad guy, but the video blog upload doesn't want to behave today. So all you get is text and PICS!!! <BR> <BR> My weekend really started Saturday at 4 PM. Earlier Saturday I did little but clean and mope. I don't like being home alone with no one to talk to. It makes me depressed. I did watch the latest episode of The Knick, to which I must say, holy crap. It hits all my notes: historical,... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 20:21:31 EST Portuguese Lesson #3 with RAMBLES! Rainy days make me rambly (who am I kidding, everything makes me rambly) but I'm chipper this week at least! Sat, 4 Oct 2014 10:23:26 EST Be Alive (This blog brought to you in part by Beyond the Invisible by Enigma) <BR> <BR> Autumn is a special time. There is so much about the world to observe. <BR> <BR> We tend to get wrapped up in the day to day, mindlessly walking through the world, only thinking about that meeting, that bill you need to pay, how you need to clean the bathroom. <BR> <BR> Take ten minutes. Just ten minutes. <BR> <BR> Go outside. <BR> <BR> Walk. <BR> <BR> See the colors of the leaves. <BR> <BR> Smell the ... Fri, 3 Oct 2014 14:49:39 EST The Universe Really Likes Me Lately (Short) Not a lot to share today, Spark Peeps, just a few small things. <BR> <BR> The only thing that's really new is I have Saturday off the next two weeks in a row due to Yom Kippur and Watchmaker's son's wedding, which is pretty awesome. This Saturday I'm going to be cleaning. No idea what the hell I'll do next Saturday. Hubs has to work, and I'm not sure if my car is going to cost me an arm and a leg to fix. I have an appointment at the dealership tomorrow to determine what's going on with my d... Wed, 1 Oct 2014 16:20:24 EST Yet Another 1. What's your name? <BR> Andrea. ANN-dree-uh. =) <BR> <BR> 2. What's your favorite sport? <BR> I'm not really a sports person. I enjoy attending the occasional baseball game, and I enjoy watching baseball or hockey on tv occasionally. <BR> <BR> 3. Have a crush? <BR> Not in the conventional sense. ;) Can I crush on Bells Day? <BR> <BR> 4. What's your eye color? <BR> Hazel. Specifically green/gold hazel. <BR> <BR> 5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? <... Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:16:48 EST Mondays Are AWESOME (This is seriously long.) (This blog is brought to you in part by Nico Vega's Fury Oh Fury, thanks NETGYRL!) <BR> <BR> One of my favorite (NOT) things is logging on to a social media website like this one or Facebook and seeing a whole bunch of people complain about Mondays. (They also celebrate Fridays, which I feel similarly about.) Monday is just a day, and it is what you make of it. If you go into Monday with a bad attitude, Monday is gonna give you crap right back! Some of you will say, "But Andrea, you only lik... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:46:28 EST Portuguese Lesson #2 Kinda in a funk today you guys, sorry if I seem blah. <BR> <BR> WARNING: I use minor swear words. Sat, 27 Sep 2014 15:31:53 EST Fireworks, Explosions and Flames, Oh My (This blog post is brought to you in part by the dichotomy of Katy Perry's Firework and White Zombie's Blood Milk and Sky, because I'm a little of both today. <em>211</em> ) <BR> <BR> Okay, look. I'm not a Pop Princess. I am way more into heavy metal and rock. Most pop music is kinda meh. I do like some of it though. This morning I was reminded of Katy Perry's Firework. Now you have absolutely no obligation at all to even like Katy Perry. I'm not even a huge fan of Katy Perry. But the lyr... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:13:44 EST Be Kind, Considerate, and Have Respect Hey, I can't always be happy go lucky. I'm a realist. I try very hard to have a positive view of the world at large, and at large, I do. It's the little things that get to me, that build up over time and gnaw at my brain, driving me to irritation and maybe even anger. I do have a temper. I'm half Irish after all. Anger doesn't come swiftly to me, but irritation does. <BR> <BR> While the last few days have been mostly amazing, there has also been aggravation. <BR> <BR> The parking lot behi... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 06:26:02 EST Push It....Push It Real Good People. I am tired. Really tired. <BR> <BR> As you all know, I've been getting up at 5 this week to help hubs adjust to his new schedule, which starts Sunday. <BR> <BR> Last night was the season premiere of Agents of Shield. After a slow first season last year, I was hooked by the end, so I really wanted to watch it last night. The good news is it was on at 9 as opposed to 10 like last year. It was really good, and I'm glad I watched it, but it was past my bedtime. Then when I went to bed,... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:45:13 EST Happy Autumn! (This blog is brought to you in part by Chevelle's "Letter From A Thief".) <BR> <BR> So this week began us getting up at 5 AM. Now, I imagine getting up at 5 am in June or July probably isn't that bad. And in truth, it isn't that bad now. Except that I don't need to leave for work until almost 9. And since Tuesday is not bells day (*sad face*) I had a lot of time to kill. I drank my coffee, listened to The Diablo Show and The Instance podcasts, played a jigsaw puzzle, ate breakfast and was g... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:28:52 EST Early Morning Rambles About My Weekend (This blog is brought to you in part by "Orestes" by A Perfect Circle.) <BR> <BR> I've been in the half-waking/half-dreaming state since around 4. I finally got out of bed around 4:35. The alarm hasn't even gone off yet. I figured I'd blog now and get it out of the way before the sun comes up and I'm distracted by the ins and outs of everyday life. <BR> <BR> Technically my weekend isn't over. I have off Sundays and Mondays, and up until this weekend, Hubs did, too. Today he works. I have a... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 05:49:25 EST The House in the Azores (Pics) Here is the house in the Azores. You can see how small it is. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This door leads to the living room. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The door on the left is the same door from the first pic, the window is the bedroom, and the door on the right is the kitchen. You can just see the beginning of the addition on the far right. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 09:31:18 EST Portuguese Lesson #1 And yet again, I completely forgot to turn the dang video. I am an idiot. Sat, 20 Sep 2014 15:37:13 EST