Monday, January 28, 2013

Friend Makin' Mondays: Getting To Know Each Other

This weekend has flown by! I spent so much time doing miscellaneous projects around here that I didn't get to everything on my list. Oh well, it gives me a chance to try to get my daily schedule a little more refined and productive. I'm also starting Week 5 on my Couch25K program tomorrow and was hoping for a bit warmer weather so I could try my first outside run - with the ice storm we got tonight I'm thinking that's not going to be very plausible.

Theres only 2 days left on my DietBet and am happy to report I only have 0.6 pounds to lose to win! Wish me luck - its doable for sure! I'll also be working on a few design changes to Sleeved In The City this week so be out on the lookout for that - nothing major just tweaking the font some so its easier for everyone to read!

Its that time again ladies and gents...if you've take part in FMM before then you know the routine. If youre new, simply take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at All The Weigh - encourage your readers to do the same and we can all connect! Here's this week's topic:

Getting To Know Each Other
1. What is your favorite color? Depends on what it is. In general; I love grey, yellow, purple and teal.

2. Share one or more of your talents.  Painting my nails, cooking, baking, organizing, and coupon clipping to name a few.

3. If you were spending the day getting to know someone new, where would you want to go?  Somewhere in the city; I'm a sucker for Navy Pier and Michigan Ave. Any of the museums.

4. What is your favorite meal?  Hmmm this ones a bit tricky since I can eat so little, think I'll have to go Chinese on this one.

5.  Do you prefer to text or talk?  For small chit-chat I'm good with texting, anything more and I'll want to talk - preferably in person as I don't like to talk on the phone.

6. Share something about yourself that might surprise someone that you’re getting to know. I'm very handy! I can change my own tire, oil and I even changed the brakes on my old Cutlass once. I also watch TV a total of 4 hours a month.

7. Do you color your hair? I colored it tonight actually, I mix my own product tho - hate boxed color and its so bad for your hair.

8. Do you wear glasses or contacts?  All about the goggles. Contacts are too expensive with my RX.

9. What is your favorite breakfast food?  French toast and bacon. Too bad I cant eat it. My go-to breakfast is an over-medium egg and chicken sausage link.

10. Would your friends say that you’re sarcastic?  I'm fluent in sarcasm as its my 2nd language.

11. Do you prefer salty or sweet?  Both. Sweet and salty. All of a sudden I want Chex Mix.

12. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?  Teeth and smile. Cant get down with a jacked up grill.

13. What is the last movie you watched?  The Possession. I liked it, I'm really into the whole horror, paranormal, exorcism thing lately.

14.  Are you religious?  I believe in God but I wouldn't call myself religious. Spiritual, maybe?

15. Are you a neat freak, a slob, or somewhere in between?
<---- OCD

16. Share something from your bucket list that you hope to do someday.  Skydiving or hang-gliding. I'll be doing one or the other this October on my vacay to Florida!

17. Are you a risk taker, or do you prefer to play it safe? Depends in what area. Either way, I always asses the risk and use my head.

18. Have you ever worn braces?  Nope, my parentals blessed me with perfect teefies.

19. Would you rather spend an evening at a theater or at a club?  Theater (said in a British accent, of course)

20. If you could have three wishes, what would one of them be?  Health, money, three more wishes.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions.  Don’t forget to go back and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Survey Time!

Hello lovelies! First let me extend a big, huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported Sleeved In The City! You guys are the greatest! SITC has had 12,440 views in the 2 short months its been up and running! Insane!

Now with that being said, I want you guys to help me build a better blog! I feel its time for some constructive feedback and would like to know what everyone else thinks. There are no right or wrong answers and the survey is confidential. I would adore you even more if you could take just a moment and let me know what you think =)
Muchas Gracias!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I'm mad. And angry. And pissed. At someone. At everyone. At no one.

I'm happy. And grateful. And glad. For everything. For nothing. For something.

I'm mad I moved to Chicago for what feels like nothing.

I'm glad I came - I had my surgery and changed my life.

I'm angry because I have no one here, no support system.

I'm pissed because I changed my life and the people who didn't got left behind and that left me alone.

I'm glad I've grown as a person.

I'm happy I don't take any sh** from anyone.

I'm happy I don't have to depend on anyone.

I wish I didn't have to always be so strong.

Why doesn't sh** get handed to me like other people?

I'm proud of my accomplishments.

I like that I'm good with make-up, hair and clothes.

I wish I didn't have bad thoughts about others.

I wish people didn't do dumb sh** in order for me to have bad thoughts about them in the first place.

I wish my friends were closer.

I wish I could hug my Dad.

I love looking in the mirror and seeing a healthy me.

I'm happy being single.

I love my pups.

I like making lists and plans and following things thru.

I'm excited about my upcoming Florida vacation.

I hate having frenemies.

Im working on everything, on me.

I love myself.

Im grateful.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Freeze Your Food Budget

I was recently asked how I grocery shop and make my food last so long. Me being the organizational freak that I am, I decided to share a few tips and tricks with you all so we can be organized together!Whether you are sleeved, single or just on a budget - these will work for you. There's nothing special or magical, just a girl with severe OCD who wanted to make cooking for one more convenient, a snap to track food and stretch my dollar further.

Now the first thing I do is search through all the ads and make a list of what I need and where its from. For me, making a list keeps me from buying a lot of unnecessary items. If it's a large list I usually take it to Wal-Mart since they price match and kill everything in one shot. Coupons, people! I cannot stress this enough! Also, becoming familiar with standard prices for items in your area will allow you to recognize a good sale. This time there wasn't anything on sale that I couldn't get at Aldi or Meijer for cheaper so off I went.

No matter what store I'm at I always check the clearance rack - especially for meat! You can often get dented cans for 1/2 price, it may not be pretty but you aren't eating the can. I hit the mother load at Meijer, the sausage was almost half price - that's 12 protein packed meals for $.58 each!! If you freeze the food before the expiration date you are ok

Now to get it all home and to store it, right? Don't go and buy a million freezer bags, you won't need a bunch this way. A while back Ziploc came out with a product called Perfect Portions, I cannot tell you how underrated these things are! They allow you to wrap individual serving sizes of food (and prevent freezer burn) that you can store inside a large Ziploc freezer bag. Go buy these.

I broke down each package and put 2 sausages in each bag, labeling the bag so I would know what flavor I'm pulling out. I did the same with the turkey bacon, putting 4 slices in each portion protector. Now here comes the OCD in me - I track my food and there is nothing more frustrating than trying to remember what Ive repackaged in order to track correctly.
 So as you see, once placed in the large bag I cut off the UPC's, tape them to the bag and label each one. It takes an extra 3 minutes but makes my life SO much easier! I take it a step further for fresh meat by scaling my food into 4 ounce portions before freezing - as I did here with my Aldi Ground Chicken ($2.39 a pound!

I cant tell you how much money portioning my food has saved me. Nothing goes bad and I don't waste anything because I'm able to use only what I want. I spent $50.85 on food and by taking an extra half hour to portion it out I have enough food to last me over 40 meals! I wont have to buy any meat or vegetables for close to 3 weeks. That fits in with my Spending Diet budget nicely!
My freezer is full and happy!
What tips and tricks do you use to maximize shopping on a budget?
Happy shopping!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Couch25K and DietBet!

I've got two big motivators this month to help keep me on the straight and narrow; money and a mentor. Im super determined to succeed at both, scratch that, I KNOW I am going to succeed at both!
First I joined Roni's New Year's DietBet , this is my first time participating in any kind of an lose-weight-online-for-money game but I do like the concept. It's easy enough, simply pay whatever the fee is (my investment was $20) and lose 4% of your body weight and you get to split the pot with anyone else who did as well. Right now our game has 650 players and the pot is worth $12,860. Cool, huh? They have rules in place and monitor the weigh-ins VERY carefully to make sure no one is cheating or trying to do this for a living;  and if you lose too much weight they will disqualify you.  

Here's my weigh-in picture:
I don't even recognize this person - she's so little!
And for the first time ever, here is my weight:

Based on my current weight I need to lose 10.6 lbs. As of today I'm down 2.4 leaving me 24 days to lose 8.2 lbs. I feel like I'm a bit behind but I'll make it up.
So not only am I following my eating plan closely, high protein and very low carb, I'm also increasing my water intake to help shed some of this water weight I'm carrying around. Plus now that I'm feeling better I am getting back to the gym - and this time I have support & help!
I was so graciously chosen as one of the mentees for The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans inaugural C25K program. I was assigned a mentor who is a pro at this running thing and am able to reach out to her anytime with questions or concerns. I just like knowing there is someone in my corner cheering me on, someone who knows what it was like to start out and really have the passion for running ignited. I never thought I would be able to run (back surgery, obesity). I never thought I would LIKE to run. Every time I get on the treadmill I am more and more amazed at what my body can do - then guilt sets in because I've treated it so horribly - I've got to make up for lost time!
I will be doing weekly check-ins for C25K and will also post my final results on the DietBet so keep checking back and lets cheer each other on together!
Do you like to run? What is something you always wanted to do but never thought you could?
Happy exercising!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

January Goals

So we're a week into 2013 and I've barely had time to breathe - let alone blog - so please excuse the tardiness of this post. I started a new position at work and while it's been great, its also been exhausting. I know it doesn't help that I was sick with the plague/sinus/allergies almost the entire month of December and my body took a beating trying to recoup while still trying to function. Let's recap December goals to see how I did:
-Didn't do well on the workouts due to the plague.
-I got my fluids in but they weren't all clear.
-Budget is done & coming in a later post.
-I averaged 2 blogs a week - so close enough.
All in all not too shabby but I need to tighten the reins now that I'm feeling better! So this is what January's goal look like:
Track food daily - this one is pretty easy for me as long as I'm prepared with my meals and not winging it. Im on MyFitnessPal as ShoeVixen - feel free to add me!
More water - I think this will be my biggest struggle (again). I rearranged my fridge so where only liquids are on the top shelf (most easily accessible) and I've prefilled several to-go water bottles that I can just grab and drink. Im thinking for me that will be key - I found myself reaching for water yesterday and drank a whole bottle.
Finish C25K - This I'm confident I will do, I'll speak more on this in a later post but I've teamed up with Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans for a C25K program.
No coffee after 7 - I need to clarify  - no caffeinated coffee after 7p. The goal here is getting to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier.
Vitamins - I'm horrible about taking vitamins; even though they're right by the fridge I always forget so I took several large index cards and wrote TAKE YOUR DAMN VITAMINS in permanent marker and placed all over the house lol
What tips and tricks do you use? What do you feel is your biggest hurdle for staying on track?
Have a great week!

Weight Watcher's Faux Cheesecake

I got this amazing recipe from my good friend Melissa over at The Daily Mel, her Weight Watcher leader shared it at one of her most recent meetings. I was slightly skeptical at first but willing to try anything to knock out this sweet tooth that has been creeping up on me at night. This stuff not only tastes great, it's filling, its packed with protein, it's easy and its inexpensive to make!

Calories: 113  |  Protein: 12  |  Carbs:  15  |  Fat: 1
Makes 4 - 1/2 servings
You'll need -
1 16oz tub of Fage 0% Plain Greek yogurt
1 small (1oz) box of Sugar-Free Jell-O pudding*
Graham Cracker crumbs (1 tbsp per serving)
*You can use any flavor Jell-O; the only flavors I can attest to are Cheesecake, Vanilla, Banana, Lemon, White Chocolate (add mini chips!) and those are excellent. I also saved a few bucks by buying a graham cracker pie crust and crumbling it myself - more than enough for this dessert.
Then you'll -
Keeping the yogurt in its original container you will slowly add the dry Jell-O pudding mix a little at a time making sure its well blended before adding more. If you dump all at once you will end up with a gritty texture - plus it's a great arm workout because this stuff gets thick.
That's it. Yep, seriously. I portion mine into 1/2 cup serving containers and let sit overnight for the flavors to blend. Add the graham cracker crumbs when you are ready to eat. Easy peasy!

**If you like this version, try the Faux Cookie Dough!
Happy cooking!

Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John is a traditional southern dish and is thought to bring good luck year round if eaten on the New Year's Day. The black-eyed peas represent pennies or coins and the jalapeno is supposed to add wealth (green = money), add cornbread and you're tripling your luck (gold = riches). On the day after New Years, Hoppin' John is referred to as Skippin' Jenny and is also good luck - the leftovers show ones frugality, therefor bringing extra prosperity for the upcoming year. We Southerners take our traditions very seriously and this is no exception.

Now this is the version I make every year but there are several out there and frankly I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Ive not only healthified it but also sped up the prep time by using frozen peas instead of the old-fashioned soaking method.

Calories: 140  |  Carbs: 18  |  Protein: 7  |  Fat: 5
Nutritional value based on 8 - 1/2 cup servings
You'll Need -
1 16oz package frozen black-eyed peas
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups of water
4oz smoked turkey sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick
4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (seeded if you want less heat)
Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Louisiana hot sauce, for serving
Brown rice, for serving (calculate extra calories!)
Then You'll -
Heat half of the oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning once, until browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining oil, onion, garlic, jalapeno and bacon to pan - cook until onions are tender and bacon is no longer raw - about 6 to 8 minutes.
Return sausage to the pan, add the peas along with the 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add seasoning. Reduce heat and simmer until peas are tender.
Serve over brown rice and pour on the hot sauce!
Happy Cooking!