Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Finished watching Season 2 of the 90s show Popular (which I never watched ever until my recent finding of it on Netflix). Anyway, I loved the show but cannot believe it ended that way! I am wondering if they did not plan it being the end, and then the show got cut or something. I want to demand a movie or something! I want to know what happens next! Bastards! :). Started on season 2 of 90210 (the new series). I watched this horrible, horrible movie from Netflix too called The Invention of Lying. If you have not seen it, DO NOT WATCH IT. I kept waiting for it to get better, and it never did. I liked the ending. I think because it ended. Jennifer Garner looks adorable in it and has great clothes. That is about all I can say positive.

So, I decided this weekend I needed to bite the bullet and buy a larger food processor. I have a small one that I use mainly to chop up veggies, but it is hard to use to make larger recipes like hummus and salsa, and since we have not been eating out at all lately, I need better kitchen tools. So, I grabbed some 20% off coupons and headed to Bed Bath and Beyond. Bought a new food processor and a new blender. Out blended was like 17 years old (Kurt owned it prior to meeting me), and when I last got it out to use, it totally was not chopping anything. I love how Bed Bath and Beyond allows you to use expired coupons. I save all of them I get in the mail and just take them when I actually shop there. It rocks. I saved like $42.00 today with coupons.

Decided to try two new recipes tonight. I wanted to make more salsa, as Kurt finished the last batch I made with the tomatoes Stacy gave me. I used a recipe off Food Network this time. I listened to advice from a friend, and took the seeds out of the jalapenos and banana peppers before adding to the salsa this time and it made it much better (not as crazy hot). I also made a dinner that was super yummy, from Vegetarian Times, which is starting to be my main site for obtaining recipes. I can always add ahi tuna or whatever, but at least I know the recipe to begin has no meat at all. Anyway, tonight, I made Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas, which were sooooo great and easy to make. The avocado garnish was Kurt's fav part, and was so different and yummy. I think this was the first time in my life I have bought an avocado, which is so weird since I love Mexican food. Anyway, this meal is going to become a staple in this house, since it is low cal and easy to make. I added Mexi cheese and low fat sour cream to Kurt's plate. Next time, I might use like one half can more of black beans, but other than that, PERFECT recipe.

Worked part of the day today, trying to catch up on paperwork. I love working in the office in silence, it is so crazy during the week with the phone and people stopping in. Got a bunch done, then left to run errands.

So, last weekend, I had some great coupons that were expiring soon at NY and Co and Kohls, so I got a few things for fall, which I love. I could not find pics of everything online though, so I will post links to what I could find.

This shirt, in burnt orange

This shirt, (in purple savvy)

This shirt, (in black)

Necklace. I so love the jewelry from NY and Co. I prob get complimented more on it than any other jewelry I wear, and it is the cheapest by far!

Necklace: (in black)

Shoes from Macy's. Got another really cute pair of red heels from Macy's, but can't find them online.

Shoes: These are SOOOO different and cute on. Love.

Shoes. These are gonna require nylons or something, as they totally ripped my heel when I wore them. Boo. but, they are super cute and easy to walk around in. Strange how flats hurt my feet, but heels rarely do.

Sweater, (in ivory tower). This is perfect for the office when I dont have court.

Sweater, (in mystic teal). The sleeve detail is way cuter in person.
I got another great deal on a cute pair of sandals on eBay as well. I have been eyeing this pair of Born heels all summer, but they never seemed to be on sale and were pricey. I have limits on what I will pay for shoes since I have a slight addiction. Anyway, found them on eBay for $30! Insanity. And, they are super comfy.

Still doing great with The Daily Plate. Week two was actually much easier than week one. It is almost becoming second nature not to snack or overeat now, and I am not hungry like I used to be, which is awesome.

Anyway, off to bed and to work again tomorrow for a bit. Goooo Lions! Hope everyone is having a nice weekend.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Way

On September 12, 2010, I made a decision to start eating better. I don't really eat horribly, but don't always make the best choices, and, I love to snack and graze on random food while hanging around the house. Also, we love to leave the office for lunch, and do not generally eat overly healthy while eating out anywhere.

Enter The Daily Plate. Rebecca was talking about it a while back, and at that time, I did not look at it because it sounded like a lot of work. Opened the program and discovered how kewl it is. You can pretty much record ANYTHING you eat, and it will pop up how many calories are in that, fat, sodium, carbs, protein, etc. Also, you can put in how much you weigh, how tall you are, how much weight you want to gain, lose, or if you want to maintain, and it tells you how many calories you should eat per week in order to make that happen. You can also record your workouts, which are subtracted from your calories. I am not using the workout feature since I have no idea how many calories i burn while working out. Am thinking of investing in a heart rate monitor to start tracking that as well, but have not had time. Any suggestions on one to get that is simple, easy to use, but accurate?

Anyway, the site ROCKS. You really don't realize how many pointless calories you put in your mouth until you record them on a site like this. I have started shopping for food entirely differently, and even though I have always loved food in the past, I am trying to change my relationship with it, and look at it as a necessity, and not as a want. This will be a slow process, but I think I am doing really well so far. I am actually pretty good at something when I am held accountable (this time, by a computer program, haha). I am loridz on the program to anyone that would like to be friends on there!

In this almost two week journey thus far, I have discovered some new recipes and new food at the store that I love. I plan on posting those things as they become known to me.

Here's some to start off with:

Snacks. I still crave a snack at night, but am making better choices, other than grabbing a bag of chips and eating them:

Quaker Rice Snacks Cheddar Cheese Quakes. SOOOO good.

Any of the Weight Watchers frozen snacks. Every one I tried is good.

Stacey's Simply Naked Pita Chips (these are amazing with hummus).

Special K Blueberry Flavored Bar (these are awesome). Also bought Nature's Valley Peanut Butter bars, an old Lori fav that I have not had in forever.

Any of the Skinny Cow frozen treats. All good as well.

Now that we have a breakroom at the office with a full size freezer and frig, eating healthy at the office and being able to get away from my desk is EASY. I have been bringing all sorts of options to the office.

I am loving all of the Smart Ones meals I eat. My fav is the Fiesta Quesadilla. But, I have had a couple of their pizzas, a tuna casserole, a five cheese ziti. All good.

Have also been snacking on baby carrots, apples and bananas. I am realizing that having healthy snacks around makes thing really easy as well.

Another goal of mine has to been to work more veggies into my diet. Not perfect yet, but am eating way more than I did previously. Green beans and corn mostly with dinner. Have eaten some form of fish for protein each night since this started as well.

Been looking thru my vegetarian times magazines for recipes and have made two thus far. First was a Tex Mex Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn. Had never had quinoa before, but the meal was super good! I added cheese to Kurt's, he thinks everything is better with cheese. :). Then, I attempted hummus for the first time and it came out pretty good for a first attempt. The only issue I had with it was it's consistency, but I have some ideas for next time. It's still super tasty, I made a spicy version. I would love to find a low fat version since I think hummus has too much fat in the normal versions. With this recipe, I did add two TBSP of water and used one cup of tahini (slightly diff from recipe, from suggested by recipe).

Also, weighed myself one week in and I had lost 7 pounds, which is insane to me! Hopefully, I can continue at this rate! :).

I have bought some new shoes, and totally owe you a shoe post, however, gotta get to bed. Going to fight my own speeding ticket in the morning, LOL. Fingers crossed.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Colombia Trip Report and Pics

So, I am way behind with this trip report. But, I have completed it, just the same! :)

Trip Report--Colombia 09/2010


Early morning flight via Spirit Airlines to Ft Lauderdale then Bogota (speaking of which, we only paid $242.50 RT PP for this flight, which is insanely cheap, WHOOT). Both flights were great, on time. Loved flying through the Ft Lauderdale airport, no running around to connecting flights, they were all in one small area. Got to Bogota, and getting through customs was easy, no line. Luggage took a little bit of time, then found the driver the hotel sent to pick us up, which was nice. Took about 35 minutes to get to the hotel. Hotel Charleston. Super nice hotel in the northern part of Bogota. Our room was really nice--bedroom, living room, dining area, bathroom, etc. View of the city. Kurt had a massage at the hotel and we had a quick snack at the hotel restaurant. We then decided to walk aimlessly around the area by our hotel. Stopped in a really nice store that sold ties and bought Kurt two for work. Had dinner at a place called Thai and Sushi Express, then headed back to the hotel. We were both wiped from flying all day and walking around all afternoon.


Got up and decided to head to La Candelaria to explore the older part of the city. This area has a lot of really old coloniel buildings, including churches, government buildings, statues, etc., and lower end shopping. Anyway, really kewl part of town to walk around and explore. We saw the President’s Mansion, the Mayor’s House, Congress, Supreme Court, the church the first mass was held at in Colombia and many other buildings and statues. Ate lunch at a quick pizza place, where they made personal thin pizzas for you. Walked around a bunch more than headed back to the hotel area. Walked around a couple shopping areas, and ended up getting massages and I got a manicure at a local place. Headed to dinner at a local Mexican place, El Carnal, that was SUPER yummy and chilled in the hotel.


Got up for early morning flight to Cartagena. Flight was great, and grabbed a taxi to our hotel, the Hotel Caribe, in the Boca Grande beach area of Cartagena. Checked in at hotel, room very nice. Then, went and had a massage, used the Jacuzzi and sauna some, chilled by the pool and took a swim, which was great--and had lunch at the hotel. Shrimp and cheese pizza, YUM. Went and walked around the Boca Grande area and beach. Did some shopping, and had smoothies from Juan Valdez Cafe. Had dinner at a local Mexican place, Guadalupe Mexicana, walked some more in the downtown Boca Grande area. Played at a couple casinos (one was called Atlantic Casino) and won a little bit.


Got up and after breakfast, ventured out to the Old Town area where the walled in City is. Really awesome old buildings, the fort walls were incredible to walk around, shopping was fun. The people there were REALLY pushy though, to the point where I did not even want to look at jewelry and the like, because they were pushing it on me SO badly. Telling them you were just looking was not helpful. Spent several hours there, then headed back to Boca Grande and walked the downtown some more where people were less pushy, LOL. Got a massage, then had lunch at a place called La Olla Cartagena where I had shrimp and rice as well as lobster bisque. Headed back to the hotel so I could take a quick nap and cool down and take a quick shower (soooo hot out). Relaxed, then headed to dinner at another Mexican place called Mexico Taqueria (can you sense a trend here??). Played some at the casino and won a little bit.


Came back to Bogota today via Avianca airlines. 15 minute delay on flight, no biggie. Great flight again. Really nice plane. Got here, transferred to the hotel, Hotel Habitel (near the airport this time since we are flying home tomorrow). Checked into hotel, super nice. Decided, since it was raining, to head to some of the local malls for some shopping. I have to say, of all the Central and South American countries Kurt and I have been to thus far, Colombia has AWESOME shopping, especially for men. SO many stores with men’s dress clothes. Bought Kurt 4 dress shirts and 11 more ties. We went to two major malls, Unicentro, which may be the biggest mall I have ever been in, and Andimo, which was super nice as well. Had dinner at the same Mexican place we ate at previously in Bogota. Relaxed at the hotel after dinner, using the Jacuzzi and sauna and scheduled morning massages.


Got up, had breakfast at the hotel and massages. Then, left for airport. The airport was SOOO disorganized for our departure. We were there 2 hours early and BARELY made our flight. Then, the plane took off late, and we got to Ft Lauderdale and they were insanely disorganized there (opposite of when we arrived). We had about an hour, and with literally racing to our gate after going through like 6 check points, we barely made that flight. Literally one minute after we boarded, they closed the gate. Not sure if I ever want to fly Spirit internationally again after that mess, but the flight was super cheap, so I guess sometimes you get what you pay for? Anyway, got safely back to Detroit, home around 1215 PM.

Overall, awesome and relaxing trip. Love exploring new cities and new countries. Was not our “typical” vacation with hiking and animals, but I had a really nice time just the same, and really, this trip was just what I needed. Work was getting really overwhelming and stressful, and I know that is when I need to get away for a few days.

Another thing about Colombia though, you really should know more than "some" Spanish. We barely got by, and Kurt is actually pretty good with his Spanish. They have heavy accents there, so they could not even understand some of our Americanized Spanish. It’s not like Costa Rica, Panama, etc., where you can generally find people who know both languages. This is fine with us, but others might have a hard time.

Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend, however you got to spend it! :).

Oh, the pics from the trip are found by clicking here.

Monday, September 13, 2010



It has been nearly nine months since Lori and I were almost killed by the Underwear Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. For the first few months, Lori and I were very vocal over the media blackout and corresponding cover up to the real story of the Christmas Day events. If anyone is not familiar with our experience, our story can be read here in this blog. For the past few months, we have chosen to sit back and watch as the trial, or lack thereof, plays out in the courthouse we regularly practice in. While the media blackout to the true events continues, the failed attack on our credibility has been replaced with deafening silence as to our eyewitness account. To us, this matter has never been about seeking vengeance against the Underwear Bomber. When taking our eyewitness account and adding it to the small amount of honest facts that have come out, one can only recognize the Underwear Bomber as a mere patsy. It is quite shocking that, thus far, the Underwear Bomber hasn't been forever silenced as other patsies that have come before him. What has led me to write this update is the following article:

It seems as though the Underwear Bomber has now decided to fire his attorneys and represent himself. I am actually not too surprised by this event. Being an attorney myself, I can see his attorneys trying to stuff a settlement down his throat while he argues in opposition that he was set up. Further, I must consider the following in realizing why this happened:

My nephew recently started law school. In August he had an orientation with a guest speaker. That speaker just happened to be none other than the Underwear Bomber prosecutor, Barbara McQuade. During such orientation, Attorney McQuade indicated that she has a case in which certain information can only be given to the judge and not released elsewhere due to "National Security". Since Attorney McQuade was only appointed as a federal prosecutor in the summer of 2009, it is not too difficult to determine what case she is referring to. I am sure that this information could only lead to further frustration on the part of the Underwear Bomber and continued conflict with his attorneys.

When I read the Free Press article today, the attorney in myself came out and I had to ask how I would like to see the defense of this case handled.

It seems to me, that now that the Underwear Bomber is representing himself, or possibly using new attorneys, that the use of an entrapment defense is not out of the question. The use of such a defense could be one of the greatest moments in the history of the United States of America. Only through a defense such as this, could the full involvement of the U.S. Government be fully discovered and divulged. Please consider the following:

1. The Underwear Bomber was escorted through security without a passport by the Sharp Dressed Man who by all accounts, appears to be a government agent.
2. Congressional hearings have confirmed that the Underwear Bomber was likely let on flight 253 intentionally.
3. The bomb failed to detonate, and by many accounts, was designed so that it would not detonate.
4. The entire terrorist attack was filmed from before it started until after it ended.
5. The bomb was obtained in Yemen where the CIA has been known to have agents interacting with Al Qaeda.

Once you accept the above, it is not so far fetched to believe that the U.S. Government planted a defective bomb on the Underwear Bomber to:

1. Renew the Patriot Act
2. Get body scanners in the airports
3. Further the U.S. involvement in strategically located Yemen
4. Further the fraudulent war on terror
5. Provide further profit to the military industrial complex

Only through an entrapment defense that is fully litigated in open court could the American citizens get what they deserve, an open honest investigation into the Christmas Day events of 2009. Such a trial could possibly wake up the millions of American citizens that fail to even consider that its government is corrupt, dishonest, and working for those who only seek to consolidate their power and wealth.

I am not holding my breath that a trial with an entrapment defense will occur. Nor could I (under the rules of the State bar), or would I, want to be involved in the representation of a man that almost killed me. I encourage my fellow members of the bar to consider representing the Underwear Bomber pro bono and using such a defense to help not only your potential client, but also your fellow American citizens. It is not the prosecution of the Underwear bomber that will help fight the fraudulent war on terror. It is the prosecution of the U.S. Government officials responsible for the Underwear Bomber attack that will put an end to the U.S.S.A. (United Socialist States of America) and restore the U.S.A.