Tag Archives: Plano

Count Down to the Real World


Welp, Thursday will be here before I know it and it will be back to the grind. Three jobs, parenting, blogging, cooking, jogging, oh my. So, to keep it manageable and to make myself accountable to my little project, here, I am committing to writing Monday, Wednesday, Friday and maybe some Saturdays. That’s doable.

So today, I did a little vendor event for Pampered Chef. I am working on some fundraisers, one for American Heart Association and an upcoming one for melanoma research. You can contact me or check out my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ThePamperedActors, if you want to check out our fundraisers. We have at least one a month, or we’re doing something for S.T.A.G.E. (a local actors’ resource center in Dallas). I spent half of the day with Syd. Man, she was a huge help getting me organized.

I am trying to follow Dr. Mercola’s recommendation of intermittent fasting and not eating until lunch. My goal is to keep a small window of eating time so my body has time to “fast”. Check out mercola.com and “google” fasting for the “why”. It makes sense, but I will not do it justice if I try to explain the technicalities. I do know that when I do this, I am less hungry and eat less and better. GOAL! So no breakfast, had plain coffee from Starbucks with some half and half. Shared some tacos al pastor with Syd (and chips, salsa, bean dip and queso), but we shared. Again, corn chips are my weakness and not sure how I’ll do it. I can and have given up bread and pasta, and wheat in general, but man- living in the land of Tex-Mex, how do I give up the corn chip? Maybe I don’t.

So, I’ve been walking with the neighborhood ladies at least a couple nights a week for the last month. The last two nights I’ve jogged, alone. Tonight I jogged 1.5 miles in eighteen minutes. Not bad for an out of shape mom of three. I enjoy the company of the walkers, but I’ve never felt better than running and listening to music. Let me tell you that Pantera is a better running partner than Owl City. Sydney and I share an iTunes account and I haven’t set up play lists on my new phone. So, I get a lovely mix of tween tunes and thirty-two year old mom music. The Cranberries aren’t a very good motivational group to run to, either. But, ah the memories.

For dinner, Jeff made bun-less cheeseburgers with watermelon, pickle, red onion and tomato slices. Organic veggies, no clue about the pickle, and conventional Kroger brand meat and cheese. Small steps, right? My kombucha has been bottled and is sitting in a closet building carbonation. My second batch should be about ready to be bottled. I am so excited! I think even Jeff will enjoy our bacterial-yeasty goodness. My SCOBY is getting HUGE, while my belly is shrinking- finally!

Eating well and exercise really helps with the stress. When I stay away from sugar, man I feel good. I am really hoping to keep this up when I go back to work to keep the stress down. In about two weeks of being off work, I think I am finally getting my stress levels in check. I think that is my biggest problem. I have a very high stress job in which I wear many hats and don’t know how to prioritize all of the many tasks I have. Then, I have my home based bakery. And then my new Pampered Chef adventure, that I love, and am working daily on building. Plus, my exercising and mom’s group and book club. I can not tell you how busy I have been just Making Whoopie, doing Pampered Chef, and playing house the last two weeks. And, I’ve had a family emergency that I’ve been dealing with in the midst of all of this. Not emergency, conflict, something that has wrecked havoc on my stress levels and really forced me to take some much needed time off. An expensive blessing in disguise. How’s that for a positive spin?

I’ve been organizing, trying to set up daily routines, and systems to make juggling easier. I want all of us in a good auto pilot mode when I go back to work. Jeff is an amazing partner, but a creature of habit. He is such a good sport, and does make changes, but it is not easy and I have to really get a new habit up and running before he fully embraces it. I guess we’ll see how well we’ve done, come Thursday.

So, what are your routines? How do you eat healthy? We have a wonderful veggie co-op in which we pick up a box of veggies twice a month (http://yourhealthsource.org/), but I need something like that for meat. I have the dairy down the street, but will I really drive over there for it? We’ll see! I really want to hear what you do! Will you introduce me to my next “kombucha”? My aunt introduced it to me a couple of months ago, and now I’m addicted. LOVE it. What else is out there that I’m missing? I’ve got to know!

Talk to you on Wednesday, my last night of sweet freedom. I guess I need to spin some more positive energy- my last night before going back to a new and fresh office opportunity. Go team.

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Filed under Happiness Hungry for Change Project

Day Two, What Do I Do?


 My final goal is to eat all natural grass fed and freerange meat (or wild caught fish).  This will be my focus after we get the first two objectives down, and can go without eating from any boxes for a few days.
Stuffed Pepper Recipe
Green peppers
Tomoato
Potato
Any leftover meat (I had some brisket)
Parmesan Cheese
Sour Cream with dill seasoning
Cut green peppers in half and clean out seeds.  Dice up tomato and potato (better if cooked or left over from another meal).  Mix in veggies, some sour cream and dill (maybe 3 tbl spoons), and brisket.  Scoop into peppers and grate cheese on top.  Grill for 15 minutes or until cooked.  ENJOY!

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Filed under Almost Domesticated, Happiness Hungry for Change Project

Manic Monday- Plano Revisited


I cannot tell you enough how much I love Plano. I love my neighborhood. I love the schools. I even love the water department when I had to call up there about something. But, I really love, love, love the downtown area. It is close to our home, yes East Side representing, and it has variety of food and beverage, decent parking, and a good night life. But, you don’t have the downside of a big city, like a lot of roaming drunkards, crazy drivers, and the inability to walk anywhere. It is all within a square block and there is something for everyone.

This weekend, we started at Filmore Pub, ate at Urban Crust, had a few drinks at Vickery Tavern and finished where we started at Filmore Pub. We met two other couples at Filmore and started with a nice Pinot Noir and brie plate. I’ve talked about the bake brie before, and so glad that I started the evening with it. It consists of thinly sliced apples, the baked brie, and water crackers. The apples and brie are drizzled with honey and topped with sliced almonds. OMG doesn’t describe it. I can eat the entire thing. But, I shared.

Then we went up to the roof top bar at Urban Crust. The patio had a retractable roof, letting us gaze into the night sky and look over Plano. Jeff and I split a Heart of Plano salad- blue cheese crumbles, chopped lettuce, heart of palm, artichoke hearts and some garlicky-delicious dressing. I would go back just for the salad. The group split three pizzas. A typical Margarita (I’m sure I’m spelling this incorrectly) since Jeff wasn’t interested in ours that had fig paste instead of pizza sauce, arugula, blue cheese, caramelized onions. The winner, though, was one that had sirloin thinly sliced, caramelized onions and blue cheese. This one was gone before it hit the table. I was really looking forward to the white chocolate bread pudding, but the boys ordered us a chocolate cake when we were in the rest room and the server asked what we’d like instead since they had run out. I’d rather have nothing. But, the cake was okay. I’m not a huge chocolate cake fan. If I’m having dessert, I want something different. I’m a sucker for a good bread pudding. By the way, this was before Jeff’s and my diet.

After Urban Crust, we had a drink at Vickery Tavern. I had a pumpkin beer. It was pumpkin spice like everything else right now, then a beer after taste. It was actually quite delicious and nothing I would have ordered on my own. Thank you Jeffro! It was a little too loud, so we went back to Fillmore Pub for a night cap. I had their red wine sangria. It was so delicious and I wish I had those all night. I’m a pinot noir fan, and usually don’t care too much for sweet wines, but this was a great way to end the evening. It was light, fruity and fun. Like me.

My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for reasons to be thankful. No matter what, I have blessing in which to thank you. AMEN!

Daily Thanksgiving: Latin Love taco at Taco Coho. If you haven’t had it, go get one and be thankful, too.

When I Have Kardashian Kash: I will take off that year to just write a novel. Then another to produce the film.

Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Amish Paradise- Sometimes original is best. Www.makingwhoopieplano.com

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Filed under Manic Monday


On yet another Manic Monday where I’d rather be sleeping in than making myself presentable for the professional public, I look back at date night in downtown Plano two weeks ago, all of the pizza that fed my family while Jeffro was out of town, Bikinis, the new Burger King salad and my obsession with Hooters. I wish wings were on my diet plan.

Downtown Plano- A Must Go

Who knew that downtown Plano was such a happening place? It is only about a city block total, but there are about a dozen restaurants, bars and eateries in addition to the antique stores and shops. I thought it would be all shops and a couple of eateries and one bar. Not the case at all! And, no creepy panhandlers or creepy people that you’d see in a more urban area. Sorry, but when Jeff’s not with me, that can be intimidating! It is well lit and feels safe. I am not the strongest gal so fending off an attacker is probably out of the question. My best bet is to mace the mf-er and try to run, but that may be more comical than effective.

We started out at the family friendly Kelly’s Eastside for dinner. We just had the appetizer platter and side salads. We opted for chicken quesadillas, spicy chicken strips, potato skins and cheese sticks. The spicy chicken strips were really tasty and the potato skins were LOADED. Although the cheese sticks had well seasoned breading, I would have still liked some marinara or ranch or something to dip. The platter only came with a little sour cream and some guacamole. The salads looked a little puny, but had tomatoes, shredded carrots, lettuce, and some cheese. I wish I would have gotten the spinach salad instead. It was average bar food, but it isn’t what they are known for. I will definitely return to sample the burgers, BBQ, and larger salads. I should have tried the West Plano Burger- burger topped with brie and avocado. Yes please! The service wasn’t exceptional, but the servers were definitely polite and had great product knowledge.

After a glass of Pino Noir for me and a beer for Jeffro, we walked to Vickery Tavern. It is a dark wood-paneled bar with tattooed up bartenders who are attentive, but not too chatty and right on time for refills. I guess Jeffro and I are getting old, we started our evening at 6PM and got to the bar at about 7:30-8. Next time, I’d leave the house at 8/9. That’s when all of the families leave and the nightlife, well, comes to life. The bar slowly filled up and is perfect for watching sports and talking. Not too loud, good looking menu and decent service. We tried more than half the beers on tap and could have spent all evening sampling the different brews. There is another Vickery Tavern in downtown Dallas, but it is more upscale and caters to the affluent sports enthusiasts going to the AAC to see the Mavs or Stars. It’s been a couple of years since I dined/drank at the much shinier and polished Dallas establishment, but I remember it being much pricier. I prefer the Plano one- much more comfortable and feels like it could be our “place”.

We ended the evening at Fillmore Pub. This is where all of the action was! It was a little noisier and less intimate than Vickery Tavern, but a fun atmosphere. After trying out a few beers from their tap, we ordered “dessert”- baked brie served on a two foot long cheese board with thin sliced apples on the left topped with slivered almonds and honey, the gooey warm brie in the center, topped with the almonds and honey, and on the right, water crackers. This was far better than dessert and the best part was that Jeffro was grossed out by the honey, so I got the whole thing to myself! I was glad that we split an appetizer and had salads for dinner. The rest of the menu is typical bar fare, but they have some homemade pork rinds that sounded delish.

We never made it to Urban Crust/32 Degrees Bar. That is what drew us to downtown in the first place! Oh well, we have a few other places that we can try out on our next date night in downtown Plano. Our next date excursion will be two nights at Winstar at the end of May to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary (and eight years total).

Bikinis– Meh, but I’d go back

Bikinis is no Hooters, but it is okay. I’ve been twice and had the grilled chicken sandwich with thermonuclear sauce and their kettle style chips. Delish. The sauce is very hot, but not vinegary, and has very nice flavor. It is a little intense for lunch, though. The next time I went, I had the grilled chicken salad tossed in their next hottest sauce. That sauce was typical vinegary wing sauce with a slight bite. Good, but not as flavorful and their thermonuclear. The salad was okay- I am HUGE Hooters fan and their salads are over and above what most salads are. It was typical salad mix- lettuce, shredded carrots and cabbage, one thin purple onion, some cheese and I noticed some accidental fried onion strings every once in awhile. I am trying to watch my calories, so I had their tomato vinaigrette. Tasty, but I would rather have ranch or blue cheese to go with the wing sauce! The girls are in, you guessed it, bikini tops along with cut off shorts and cowboy boots. Classy! But, I love these places, so no biggie. Every breasturant I have been has amazing salads in addition to whatever their specialty is. I can always find something good to eat. In the case of Bikinis, the salad was meh, but the chicken sandwich is worth a repeat visit.

Burger King Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad- Yes Please!!

On the way back to the office from an errand, my only choice was Burger King. Gag. But, I thought I’d try one of their new salads. I have to say that the grilled chicken on it may be the best chicken I’ve ever had on a fast food salad, and maybe on any salad. It is obviously freshly grilled. The only downer to the salad is that the dressing, although a vinaigrette and not a creamy dressing, is where over 400 of the 520 calories in the entire meal are! YIKES! It was very tasty, but if I am watching my caloric intake, I will be using my own dressing or getting something with less calories. I love the salad at Wendy’s that is similar, but this may be my new fast food salad fav. Now, I shouldn’t have had the medium Dr. Pepper, nor the dressing, but hey- I’m making dietary progress.

Papa John’s– Spinach Alfredo pizza and Buffalo Chicken pizza

This is not on my diet, at all. But, with Jeff out of town ordering pizza two out of the four nights he was gone was the best I could do. (I ate with his parents and my mom the other two nights). I am not a thin crust girl, but Papa Johns’ is almost like a buttery pastry. It makes the Spinach Alfredo pizza a delicacy! It’s easy to over indulge in it though. Syd and I decided to be adventurous and ordered the Buffalo Chicken pizza. Ranch, onion, bacon, boneless wings and wing sauce. O-M-G this may be the best thing I have ever eaten. Where was this when I was pregnant? Pregnancy cravings are the only thing that can justify the indulgence of all of the calories. I would eat the whole thing if we order it again. The only downer to Papa John’s is that they do not offer any salad or anything to balance the carb heavy meal. I need some salad!! My other gripe is that when they were offering bonus points for tax day, I made sure my current order was enough points to get a free pizza. Somehow it didn’t register and I had to start over. L Oh well, I really don’t need any more pizza right now. I never thought I would over pizza my family. We are pizza-ed out- until the next time Jeff goes out of town or next weekend.

Tune in tomorrow for Book Club Tuesday. I will be talking about what’s on my DVR and the following week I’ll talk about how I’m pissed that I have to read the next Fifty Shades of Grey book to see what happens. I thought books in a series were supposed to be able to stand alone. I’m not too happy to spend another $10 on this mediocre story, but hey. This is why I didn’t start Twilight. I knew I would feel “meh” about it and then have to read all of them just to see what happens and resent not spending time reading something I really enjoy. It’s okay, but I am sick to tears of her “Inner Goddess” and subconscious. But, it is good if you need an easy, mostly fun read. I don’t have time for mindless reading. There are so many other things I really want to read, but now I am hooked. It is very hard to put down, but I get dizzy from all of the eye rolling I do!

Web Wednesday will be a discussion of which group coupons you like, such as Groupon and Living Social. I’ll talk about the wasted dollars and truly awesome deals that I’ve scored. And, I’ll put up my wish list.

Terrific Thursday will be about my week without Jeffro- aside from eating pizza for a week, how did it go? Did he come back to an utter s#it hole or did I hold down the fort? Was it okay being a single mother of three for six days?

And on Fiscal Friday, I’ll talk about my latest grocery store successes and savings plans for the future. I am not the best budgeter, so what am I doing to create an automatic budget?

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April 23, 2012 · 3:58 pm