WW Update - Week 60

Pounds lost in Week 60: Probably negative a gazillion and 2

Total weight lost so far : not nearly enough

Yes, I completely punked out yesterday and did not go weigh-in.  Old me - you know the one with horrible stomach/bowel problems, even worse face problems and unusual random weight gain problems? - has made a not so welcome comeback.  According to my scale, this week I somehow gained 5 pounds - all that with eating salads and chicken, walking around Sesame Place (and not eating anything good) and sweating my ass off all week.  Please explain?!  Yeah - I can’t either and frankly I couldn’t bare another hit to my self-esteem this week seeing that scale go up.  So here’s to hoping that next week, my last week of official weigh-ins, will go as planned and I will hit 30.

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Please Help Me Win a Grill

Please vote for me here and help me win a grill!  Thanks.

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This past weekend, we went peach picking with the full intention of making jam (and other holiday food gifts).  I started out with this Vanilla Peach Jam recipe.  I swear I have the “You must cook your jam twice” curse.  Because yet again, I followed a 5 star internet recipe to the T and my jam did not gel on the first try.  I then went and read ALL of the reviews (not just the first 5) and found that I needed to add more pectin - 2 more packets to be exact.  That is a BIG difference in the consistency.  If you make this recipe as it is written, you will have a very nice thick syrup for ice cream - also not a bad holiday gift!  I got 8 1/2 pint jelly jars out of this, but will probably lose another tonight when I have to AGAIN recook the jam that still hasn’t quite fully jelled.  I actually at this stage have only used 2 1/2 packets of pectin.  2 of the jars jelled quite nicely - obviously those were the last to be filled and contained the most pectin.  The other 6 are much thicker, but still not at a jam stage with which I am happy.

Cooking the Jam - Sterilizing the Jars (the first time!)

I then moved onto this recipe for Honey-Spiced Peaches.  I would think that Ball would know to tell people in a recipe that you need firm peaches.  Now, maybe a seasoned cook/baker/canner like me should know that, but apparently not.  Not to mention, my peaches are getting insanely ripe, insanely fast!  Anyway, I peeled, pitted, and sliced the peaches and made the honey sugar syrup.  These smell heavenly and the mix of white and yellow peaches in the jars makes them look even more tasty!  I opted to use pint jars instead of quarts.  I got 6 pint jars and 1 1/2 pint jar out of this recipe.  My husband already asked if the 1/2 pint jar could be the tester jar.  I think it is going to have to be because I, too, want to try these before I gift them!

Honey Spiced Peaches

As I was reading the group of blogs I frequent this morning, I was even further convinced that someone up above wanted to stick it to me because I found these jumping out at me on the first 2 blogs I checked!

How to Peel a Peach - where was this last night when I had peach peel squishing all over my hands!  Actually, I knew how to do this already, but was afraid the already very ripe peaches would not stand up to the boiling process very well.

Peach Pitting Tool - this just about killed me this morning.  I SO wish I had had this tool last night.  Oh and did I mention that I have an apple corer and a mango corer that look just like this sitting in my kitchen tool drawer?  Why didn’t I think of busting out that mango corer?!  It probably would have saved me hours!  Live & Learn!

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WW Update - Week 59

Pounds lost in Week 59: .4 of a pound

Total weight lost so far : 29.8 pounds

Can you believe it?  I missed 30 by .2.  UGH - talk about a letdown!  I don’t know what went wrong.  I basically ate the exact same thing as last week.  I sweat my butt off several nights this week peach picking, making jam and going to the fair (where I didn’t eat any of the tasty fair food!).  I thought for sure this was going to be my week.  Hopefully next week, though I guess I shouldn’t complain about a loss.  I’m rounding out my last few weeks at WW, before I attempt to have a go at it without official weigh-in.

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The Heat is On - Indoor Fun

It has been brutally hot here in NJ for several weeks now with no reprieve in sight.  My boys don’t even want to go outside into the kiddie pool or the slip ‘n slide.  The Destroyer takes one step outside and whines, “Mama, too hot out here!”  So - we’ve been spending A LOT of time indoors.  Thankfully, we live right next to a park, so as soon as it hits 7:00 pm and the sun begins to set, we go outside for our fresh air of the day.  Here are some of the activities we’ve been doing indoors to keep busy:

  1. Crafts - I love some of the inexpensive sets they sell at Oriental Trading.  Generally, when we make crafts we like to give one to Oma, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Aunt Kristen, Aunt Lisa - so it is good for us that the sets usually come in 6 or 12′s.  Just this week, we made these Sun Magnets.
  2. Board Games - My boys like board games and we’re making our way through our stack, though, much to my dismay, Cootie seems to have become the favorite.  Cute game - takes WAY too long!
  3. Play the Wii - The Wii provides both fun and exercise.  And if you have a few kids, they can all play together.
  4. Take your spare change to the bank - Our local TD bank has one of those change counting machines and the boys love to use it.  If they don’t have a ton of change, I let them keep their money to buy something on our next shopping trip.  But, if it is over $10, it goes into their bank account.  They also like that they can guess how much money they have and possibly win a prize from the bank.  The last time, we won a mini ball puzzle for coming within $2 of our actual amount.  Our bank is also only a few blocks away, so we often walk over, even on a hot day.
  5. Make a Slurpee or Slushie run.  I like to call this $5 FUN.  A simple run to 7-11 for Slurpees makes my boys very happy - especially when they have the flavors they want!
  6. Storytime - Our local library has been having many free events for the kids, so we’ve been cycling through our books pretty fast this summer.  In order to get the books back in a few days for the next event, we’ve been having afternoon and bedtime storytime.
  7. Mooch off of a friend who has a pool - I’m ashamed to admit this, but yes I do it.  My good friend, who is a teacher, and I don’t get together often during the school year since we are so busy.  So when summer comes around, she knows I’m looking for swim dates and since we have time to get together, this works out perfectly.  I bring lunch and/or snacks and a fun day is had by all!
  8. Storytime at the Book Stores/Craft time at the Craft Stores - Our local Barnes & Noble and Borders stores have storytimes.  Afterwards, I treat the kids to a cookie in the cafe and we browse the kids’ section and add to our Christmas lists.  Our local AC Moore runs a weekly free craft on Wednesday and we love to hit these.
  9. Super Cheap Movies/Free Bowling - Take advantage of all of the summer freebies/discounts.  Various Movie Theatres offer $1 or very low cost kids movies in the mornings.  AMF has a free bowling program for kids during the summer (shoe rental required).
  10. Hit the Mall - our local mall has a free, indoor play area, as well as a low-cost carousel and train ride - all in the comfort of air conditioning.
  11. The Toaster Oven- Do not underestimate your toaster oven (who wants to heat up the house by turning on the oven?! Not me!).  It can be used to make your own pizzas, make store-bought cookie dough (in mommy friendly portions!), make homemade cookies in small batches.
  12. Smoothies - Fruit + Ice + Your Blender = Fun, Tasty, Healthy Treats for the Whole Family.
  13. Ice Cream Machine - Make Your Own Ice Cream.  Try one of our favorite, simple ice cream recipes.
  14. Check out your local pet shop - you can see lots of interesting little creatures!
  15. Burger King or McDonalds’ Play Place - you don’t have to buy lunch, you can do ice cream cones!  And technically, you don’t have to buy anything!

All in all, we are trying to keep summer fun (and not too hot!) for the kids, while still operating on a tight budget.

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