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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fun Questionaire

I borrowed these questions from Spark People.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? 
Not a real person. I was named after the lead character in the book "The Thornbirds". My middle name Ann is after my Maternal Grandmother.

 2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? 

The last time I cried was when I had a fight with my Mom when she was visiting and she was going to go home. I cried privately. We made up the next day and she stayed.

 3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?

Sometimes, although I often like other people's better. My Grandmother has the best handwriting. I wish I could have mine be like hers.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? 

It is a toss up between Ham and Bologna. 

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?

Yes, Riley and Gabrian.

 6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?

Definitely, I like myself and wouldn't mind hanging out with me.

 7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? 

Yes, it is my favorite form of humor!

 8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? 

Yes.

 9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? 

Heck no...I am afraid of heights. That seems like a horrible thing to do.

 10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?

Captain Crunch, the Peanut Butter Flavor.

 11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?

No, I rarely wear shoes that even have laces. When I do I almost never untie them. That seems like unnecessary work.

 12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? 

Emotionally yes and Physically no.

 13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? 

Ben and Jerry's "What a Cluster". It is peanut butter ice cream with marshmallow swirls, peanut butter swirls, and Caramel clusters. It is amazing. I could eat a pint every night!

 14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? 

If they have a sense of humor.

 15. RED OR PINK?

 Pink

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? 
My lack of will power to lose weight.

 17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? 

My friend Liz. We were so close at one point and she basically cut me out of her life. Occasionally we talk to each other on Facebook but that is about it. I wish we could get back to the way we were.

 18. ANY TATTOOS?

 No

19. DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?

 Not really, unless you count planning vacations and watching television.

 20. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?

I am barefoot right now. I wore black ballet flats to work today.

 21. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?

Mac & Cheese

 22. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?

The last song I listened to on my iPod was Gone Gone Gone by The Dark Hollow Bottling Company.

 23. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?

Periwinkle Blue

 24. FAVORITE SMELLS? 

Angel Perfume, Hyacinth Flower, and Lilac Flowers, Nantucket Briar by Crabtree and Evelyn.

 25. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?

 My Mom

26. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?

 Beach house

27. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?

Gymnastics at the Olympics.

 28. HAIR COLOR?

 Light brown

29. EYE COLOR?

 Hazel

30. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?

 No

31. FAVORITE FOOD?

 BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad from the Cheesecake Factory followed up by a piece of Banana Cream Cheesecake.

 32. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?

 happy endings

33. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?

Lilo and Stitch. I am dying to see "The Heat"

 34. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?

 Pink t-shirt

35. SUMMER OR WINTER?

 Summer

36. HUGS OR KISSES?

 Hugs

37. FAVORITE DESSERT?

 Chocolate Cake or an Éclair from Gregg's Restaurant.

38. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?

 Strength Training

39. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?

 Television 

40. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?

Fodor's Travel Book on Japan....a potential destination for our trip next year.

 41. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?

 I don't have one.

42. FAVORITE SOUND?

 Rain on a metal roof.

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?

 Beatles.

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?

Japan

 45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?

 Not really.

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

 Houlton, Maine

47. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW? 

South Portland, Maine

 48. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?

 Brown

49. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?

 Red

50. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 50 QUESTIONS?

 Yes, I thought it was fun!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Weight Watchers Series - Week 3

I don't have much to report this week. Once again I failed at staying on track. I did okay for the first couple of days and then pretty much gave up. I went to the fair in Bangor on Saturday and it quickly went down hill. I was too chicken to even go to weigh in tonight. I know that was a bad decision.

I will be back on track tomorrow. See you next week with hopefully a better result.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kushiya Benkay Restaurant Review - Portland, Maine

The boys and I had a wonderful lunch at Kushiya Benkay Restaurant located at 653 Congress St., Portland, ME.  I had a deal from Deal Chicken to use up. I had spent $15 and had a certificate for $30 to use.

Kushiya Benkay is located in downtown Portland so be prepared to search for parking. On Sundays, if you are able to find a street spot, there is free parking downtown. We were really lucky and found a spot only a couple of business down. I am not familiar about the area so I could be completely wrong but I definitely felt the need to make sure I was holding my purse tightly as we walked to the restaurant. Lots of people were just hanging around outside. I am not sure how I would feel at night time.

As we approached the restaurant this is what we saw.





We were greeted as soon as we walked in and promptly brought to a table. We had a chance to look over the menu. The two big features are the Sushi menu and the Yakitori Grill. I knew before I got there I would definitely want some sushi while I knew the boys would be interested in the grill.

The Yakitori Grill selection was huge. There were so many fun things to pick from.



While we were waiting for our food to come out I was able to get some pictures of the décor. Mostly ceiling shots because it seems awkward to take pictures around other customers.



Riley's meal came with miso soup. It looked delicious. He didn't offer me a bite but he told me it was great. I had sad face because I love miso soup and would have loved to have a bite. The waitress also brought out dipping sauces for the grilled meat. It had a miso sauce, a spicy sauce, and green tea powder. We tried both sauces and thought they were very delicious.




We did a very short amount of waiting for the rest of our food to come out. I amused myself by taking pictures of the boys.



Gabrian's food came out next. He ordered three items from the grill. He had Chicken Breast ($2.75), Pork Loin ($2.75), and Yaki Onigiri ($2.75) which is a grilled rice ball. The meat was out of this world good. It was so moist, tender, and flavorful. I was tempted to steal it from him. The rice ball was a ball of rice. I am not sure what I was expecting but it was as described.




Riley ordered the Yakitori Donburi (Lunch $11.00). This was a rice bowl with 2 selections from the grill. It was also served with the miso soup. Riley chose the Chicken Breast and the Duck Breast. He thought this was great. It was a nice size portion and he enjoyed every bite. He liked the chicken a little better than the duck but still enjoyed both.



I went with the sushi. I choose a Spider Roll and an Avocado and Cucumber Roll. I love soft-shell crab and whenever it is on the menu, hands down that is what I will choose. It was as good as I was hoping. I also was a huge fan of the soy sauce container.



If you are in the Portland area and want some delicious Sushi or Grilled Meat, I would strongly recommend going to Kushiya Benkay. You will not be sorry!!



Friday Photo Series - Week 3

I realize this is Sunday but I was at my Mom's house this weekend in Dexter and had no access to the internet. I am not going to lie. As much as I love the internet, it was so nice to disconnect for a couple of days. Because I had no option but to be away from it, I was never anxious that I was missing anything. Anyway, on to the pictures!

Saturday: This is the tree that I spent most of the afternoon under during the Yarmouth Clam Festival. We really enjoyed the Shade while we were listening to the music of The Dark Hollow Bottling Company.
 
Sunday: Gabrian and I had a nice relaxing day at home. He was watching a movie on the Nook when I caught this picture.
 
Monday: We were shopping at Target. Gabrian doesn't like to ride on the top of the carriage but loves to be on the bottom.
 
Tuesday: Self-portrait time. I am experimenting with the forward facing camera on my phone. Not great but not bad for the first attempt.
 
Wednesday: This is the fabric of my couch.
 
Thursday: Gabrian went to get his hair cut at Snip-its.
 
Friday: We stopped at McDonald's on the way to my Mom's house. Here is the toy from Gabrian's Happy Meal.
 
See you guy's next week...hopefully on time!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BoodleUp

Can I tell you about the greatest new game out there? It is called BoodleUp and you can play it on your computer, smart phone, iPad, and iPod. It is a fun and easy game that you can win actual prizes that you would want.

The game I played on the site was similar to a matching game. I would click on the squares for them to reveal the prizes. I needed to match three prizes in a row either horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. The prizes range from food items from local restaurants, large discounts off local retailers, gift cards, all the way up to tickets to a Patriots Game. If you win (I would say I was winning 2 out of 10 games) and would like to accept that prize you then have to agree to be locked out of the game for a period of time. This would be anywhere from 1 day up (the largest I saw was for 11 day). You can still play on the site but you can't win any new prizes for this locked out period. So you have to decide if you want the prize or try for something bigger.

I signed up for BoodleUp last night and I am still in the pending period. I can play but I can't win any prizes yet. I am looking forward to being approved to take advantage of those great prizes.

Right now this is only available for the Portland, Maine area but they are looking to expand to other areas. If you are in the Portland area or will be visiting soon I would definitely recommend signing up on BoodleUp's sight and start getting your own prizes!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Weight Watchers Series - Week 2

If a diet was a relationship we would so be done. Unfortunately, I am doing Weight Watchers and I am trying to change my way of life so the diet is going to be that annoying guy that never goes away. I am not sure if you can tell but last week did not go that well for me.

It started off ok, I had my plan for the week and I was prepared to follow it. I bought all my groceries so I could eat every two hours. I made sure all my choices were good ones and not just empty calories. I thought I had set my self up for success. I was going to follow my plan and go in and get my great loss.

I was hungry all the time. I don't know where I went wrong. I am not sure if it was all in my mind or if I was truly hungry. Maybe my choices were not as good as I thought they were.

I made it to Thursday night, hungry the whole way through. Looking back I can see where I went wrong. My Mom had come to visit on Wednesday night and took Riley home with her to visit for a week. I had bought a crème pie for them to have while she was here and I was going to send it home with them. I forgot to send it with them.

I do ok with desserts that are proportioned or Ice Cream in the house. Either of those I can resist and take just a normal portion. I do not do well with pies and cakes that are open to interpretation of how large a piece it should be. There was half a pie left in the house. I decided a piece of pie was exactly half a pie. I was disgusted with myself even as I was eating it. I kept telling myself to stop eating it but I just couldn't do it.

I pulled myself together on Friday and thought I could still get myself back on track. Saturday I actually did great during the Yarmouth Clam Festival and was feeling pretty good. Then Saturday night I decided to have a cocktail after Gabrian went to bed. The cocktail turned into three cocktails and all of a sudden I had eaten a half a bag of Doritos.

I pulled myself back up again on Sunday and I did ok today. I am back to being hungry again all the time. I just want to get back to the way I was the last time I was successful losing weight. I don't understand what is holding me back. Why was it so easy that time and so hard this time.

I just know that I need to keep getting back up and plugging away. I can't keep living like this. This is not the life I want. I want to be healthy and feel good about myself. I want to not be an embarrassment to my kids and family. I want to meet someone that is the right person for me and not just someone that I am grateful too for kind of liking me (or pretending that they like me). I must not give up.

I tried to think of any excuse not to go to Weight Watchers tonight for weigh-in. I kept trying to convince myself that I could go next week when I had lost the weight again. I knew I was lying to myself. I would start to spiral out of control again. I was glad that I had started the Monday Series because I felt committed to report my results.

I dragged myself to the meeting and I weighed in at 323.2 lbs. I had a gain of 2.2 lbs. There is no nice way to say it other than it sucks. All that hard work I did the prior work I have now undone and wasted a week when I could have lost more.

I can't let it get me down. I am just going to get back on track and start following my plan again. See you next week with my results!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Yarmouth Clam Festival 2013

If you are looking for a fun free family event the third weekend in July, then the Yarmouth Clam Festival  is definitely the place to go. It was another just Gabrian and I weekend so we convinced our friends Myranda and Owen to join us on our adventure.

After doing some research on their website we knew that Saturday was the day we wanted to go. They had lots of great activities scheduled for that day. There was going to be clam shucking contest, fireman muster, horse wagon rides, concerts, and fireworks. I will tell you that we only made it to the clam shucking contest but we had such a great time participating in other activities that we don't feel like we missed anything. It was also extremely hot and humid out again so we feared that we would just be miserable but it wasn't too bad. When we were in the shade and had a breeze it was fairly pleasant. We did guzzle a lot of water though.

We started off the morning with Myranda and Owen meeting us at our house so we could take just one car there. I had directions to the festival taken off their site and we were on our way. I knew that they had several parking lots that you could pay to park in. These were all run by non-profit organizations and the closer to the festival the higher the price. I think the most expensive lot we saw was $10 and that was literally in the middle of the festival. We headed to the free parking lot that was sponsored by Delorme Map Company in their parking lot. They paid to have free shuttles to bring us to the festival. Online it said they would run every 30 minutes. When we arrived a sign said they run every 15 minutes and we felt they ran so frequently it was every 5 minutes.  The shuttles were big yellow school busses and the boys were in heaven. It was definitely on their bucket list to ride on one and it was all they could talk about all day long. Here they are in all their glory.

 
 
We were dropped in the craft section. I hadn't realized what a big craft area they would have. They had 100's of vendors. I didn't spend very much time looking around because I didn't want to get tempted and buy something I just didn't have the money for. I did take a couple of pictures for your viewing pleasure.
 



When we first got off the bus we were trying to get our bearings. We came across an older gentlemen sitting on a chair on the sidewalk. The boys had a fun time chatting him up. He gave us directions to get to the Clam shucking contest. When we were ready leave the man told the boys he had something for them to get a treat for themselves. We thought he was going to give them a quarter but he actually gave them $5 each. Gabrian and Owen were so excited to have their own money. As excited as the boys were, I felt the man was just as excited to give them the money.

We were finally ready. I got Gabrian in his stroller and Myranda got Owen back packed up.


We found the tent with the contest shortly and were fortunate to find a table to sit at to watch.






 
 
The way it worked was that the contestants had 2 minutes to shuck as many clams as they could. It had to be the whole clam and there couldn't be pieces of the shell. Whoever had the most clams at the end was the winner. They had 3 categories of contestants. There was the media group, the pro group, and the amateur group. In the pro group I saw a woman shuck her clams so fast that she did one every 2 seconds. It was amazing how fast her hands were moving.
 
After the first group we decided that we were hungry and we wanted to beat the crowds before the lines got too bad. Gabrian I were up first because he was the most vocal about being hungry.
 

I was surprised how many food choices there were. They had many variations of clams, sea foods of all types, standard bbq food, and pizza and chicken nuggets. I will tell you that no one in our group had clams...I know we should be so ashamed to go to a clam festival and have no clams. I found the clam offerings on the high side and I was really in the mood for a sandwich of some sort.

We first looked at all the booths to decide what we wanted.



I went with a grilled scallop roll and a soft pretzel.



The scallop roll was amazing. It was $9.00 and originally thought it was expensive. However, once eaten I felt it was worth every penny. When I purchased the roll it was premade and kept in a steamer and I wasn't sure how fresh it would taste. Within my first bite the entire bottom of the roll gave out and fell onto the plate. I have no silverware with me and had to eat with my fingers. The scallops were cooked perfectly and just so delicious. They were moist and sweet and with no grittiness at all. I was going to bypass the bread because I assumed it would just be really soggy but took one bite. It was fantastic because the scallop juice soaked into the bread and made it scrumptious.

My soft pretzel ($3) was the standard pretzel but it gave me my salt fix. One funny thing was that I think I used up the remainder of their yellow mustard. I really had to work hard to get the amount I had on my plate. I was surprised that it was early Saturday afternoon and they had to get through the rest of the day and Sunday with almost no mustard. I hope they sent someone to the store or they were going to have unhappy customers!

Typical Gabrian went with the obvious choice at a seafood festival.


This combo cost me $4 and he enjoyed it. Sort of expensive for a hotdog but not really bad in the grand scheme of things. He enjoyed it and ate almost all of it.

After lunch, Myranda treated us to a Lime Rickey ($3). I have never had one before but it was so refreshing on a hot summer day. There was a whole lime squeezed into it. It reminded me of a melted popsicle served on ice. I love lime popsicles so it was a great treat for me.


I had to wrestle it from Gabrian to get my share of the drink. He became sucky lips once he got his first taste of the drink.


After our delicious lunch we were on the hunt to find the horse wagon rides. We followed the sound of their bells.


We had a few spotting's of the horses.


We finally found them in this beautiful park like area. Only to find out that they had just run the last turn and the horses would be taking a break for the afternoon and wouldn't be back until 4. The bright side of this debacle was that we found this awesome park that we spent the rest of our afternoon.

They had different booths set up and several farm animals. The Dark Hollow Bottling Company was performing the entire time we were there. It was my first time hearing them but it won't be the last. They were really great and I enjoyed many of their songs.



We also spent time in the adjacent area climbing over the antique construction equipment. We also purchased a gourmet popsicle. It melted faster than any popsicle I have ever seen. Here is my photo montage of the time we spent in the park.




We were very thirsty and tried to stay as hydrated as possible.


Owen felt like Gabrian wasn't getting enough water and helped him correct that problem.


Gabrian enjoying his popsicle.



Firehouse Arts had projects for the kids. They were adding wool to the sheep and there was a fish that they could try on.


 
 



We all had our palms read for $.50. I am not sure if she was accurate but I want the life she said I was going to have.



Lots of fun farm animals to see!





The boys favorite part was climbing on and around the construction equipment. It felt like we were walking on the surface of the sun. Sadly for the boys we did not stay there for too long.





After the walk the boys took a rest in the shade (this lasted for about 7 minutes).


We then decided to do a photo shoot to try to get the boys in a jump pose. Myranda was way better at this then I was. This is the best shot I got out of the bunch.


Gabrian wanted to go to the booth where he could win a prize. He had to answer a question about healthy living. His question was where in Maine could he go hiking. He answered butterfly. Not sure where that is but according to Gabrian there is fantastic hiking there. He got a prize of a water bottle anyway.


Garbage to Garden was also represented in this park. They are a great organization that collect your food waste each week and turn it into compost. They provide the bucket you put the food into and pick it up each week and give you a new bucket. The cost is $11 a month and you have the opportunity to volunteer each month to reduce that cost. If you are in the area they are definitely worth checking out.


At this point we decided to head out and get some ice cream on our way home. We had perfect timing and a shuttle bus pulled up as soon as we arrived at the shuttle stop. The boys had another great ride and fortunately didn't notice the giant carnival we passed on the way to the car. It looked like a fun time for people that want to go on rides. I wasn't prepared to put out that kind of money and it was just too hot.

Once back at the car we headed to Maple Creamery located at 881 Route 1, Yarmouth, ME. It was an organic gelato shop. We thought it was a good sign because the Local Sprouts delivery truck was picking up a giant order. Some of the flavors I remember are strawberry rhubarb (Gabrian's choice), chocolate (Owen's choice), salted caramel almond (Myranda's choice), toasted coconut (my choice), caramelized banana (my second choice), maple, sweet cream, and many others. I loved both of mine but the banana definitely won out. Next time I think I would just get that one. I had the small size for $3.25 and Gabrian had the kids size for $2.50. They had pints to take home for $6.





We all gave it a huge thumbs up and look forward to our next trip there. I would highly recommend stopping there the next time you are in the Yarmouth area.

We arrived home and was exhausted after a truly awesome day. I know where I will be the third weekend of July in 2014.