Archive for January, 2009

Weight Watchers Update

Jan 29th, 2009 Posted in Health | no comment »

Weight Watchers and me go way back. My first round was just after Sam was born (he’s 6 1/2 years old now). It works for me. What doesn’t work? Not doing Weight Watchers.  Evidently, I need help to be a mindful eater. I need to look at my eating over the course of a week and save up for that night out or weekend splurge.

After Sam was born, it took me about 6 months to lose 35 lbs. I felt great and was totally sold on “nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” Unfortunately, I didn’t choose to stay with the maintenance program. I thought I could be casual about it, keep exercising and all would be well. Silly girl. It takes a day to put on a pound and a week of conscious eating to take it back off.  As of this fall, those 35lbs were all with me again. Sigh.  

So, I got back online and signed up on  I find that I don’t need meetings. I just need to log my food, my weight and get inspired daily by new recipes an such.  I’m down 14 lbs since the beginning of November. I’m very happy with that because I had a trip to Florida and Christmas mixed into that time without derailing my progress. I highly recommend Weight Watchers if you are serious about losing weight. I also recommend combining that with a whole foods based diet and the Volumetrics Eating Plan by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D.  If you like to feel full like me, then these, combined with Weight Watchers, can help you cut back but not feel too deprived or hungry.

The Basement Addition Update

Jan 27th, 2009 Posted in Home Improvement | 4 comments »

Brian and I (well, mostly Brian) designed and built our home in Sherwood almost 5 years ago.  We left the basement unfinished and, over the last several years, have been slowly adding on to the house and completing the “downstairs.”  It’s turning out sooo well. I’m actually glad that we waited. Our design has grown better over time — and so has the square footage we added 🙂  Soon we will have a reading/study room on the main floor, stairs and a new bathroom, bar and entertainment room downstairs. 

The most progress recently has been on the bar and the bathroom vanity/sink. Brian installed some gorgeous cabinets from IKEA and tiled the countertops and back splash. It’s still in need of a little grout, but it already looks AWESOME!  Take a look…

Red Mesa (FL) Restaurant Review

Jan 27th, 2009 Posted in Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

Before I go on a vacation, I do a lot of research.  I don’t necessarily want a minute-to-minute plan, but I like a general list of well-reviewed and recommended sites to see, things to do, and definitely places to eat. So when Brian and I got the chance to go, sans kids, to St. Petersburg, Florida, I went to work. The first restaurant we tried was Red Mesa. It was said to be a local favorite serving regional Mexican cuisine with Southwestern flavors in a fun open kitchen. IT WAS FABULOUS.  Brian and I both had one of the most memorably awesome dinners of our lives. No joke. I had duck enchiladas in a raspberry/chipotle cream sauce. Absolute heaven. Brian had crab and shrimp enchiladas served with a creamy blackbean concoction that we still have fantasies about.  To top it off, the atmosphere is very fun with the open kitchen and a sea of very happy faces. If you ever get to St. Petersburg or the Tampa area, you cannot miss this restaurant. welcome.html 

Titans Team Photo Shoot

Jan 25th, 2009 Posted in Fun Photos - Sports | no comment »

Taking pictures is by far my most favorite hobby. Getting a good photo makes me smile from the inside out. So, when the coach asked me to take Ben’s basketball team photos due to a scheduling conflict with our league’s photo day, I jumped at the chance to play photographer for a day. I’ve done a photo shoot for baseball before…very easy, outside, perfect lighting, etc.  An indoor gym can be tricky with shadows, glare, etc.  But they turned out great! Yay!!  Besides getting some good, more relaxed shots, this really is an efficient,  fun, easy and very affordable way to take team photos.  It takes me a couple of hours total to take the photos, edit and select the best shots and then post them on Shutterfly or Kodak Gallery where parents can either download the photos or order nicely priced prints in any size directly from site.  Go ahead a view the album: Pictures from Angela Windheim


Jan 22nd, 2009 Posted in Joyful Moments | no comment »

It feels like a new America today. I’m overwhelmed with a new sense of patriotism and national pride because we have found (and had the sense to put our faith in) a good, intelligent and thoughtful human being.  Obama will be a positive force leading our country and representing us to the world. I wrote the Haiku below just after the election:

Full of grace and pride

A true leader’s journey starts

America heals

Burn After Reading

Jan 22nd, 2009 Posted in Movie Review | no comment »

First, I have to admit that my husband frequently teases me about the movies I order from Netflix. He claims that I deliberately find the obscure movies and justify it by lying that “It got good reviews.” And, to be honest, we’ve had a lot of movies just leave us both shaking our heads at the fact we just wasted 2 hours of our lives on a dud. Even knowing all of this, I chose Burn After Reading, another less-than-successful “dark comedy.”  Ha! We liked it. I’m sure it helps that it had a great cast: Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and George Clooney. They all play crazy, extreme characters who’s lives tangle up over the misplaced memoir of a CIA analyst.  Get ready for lots of f-bombs and some pretty raw moments. It made me laugh, groan and jump out of my seat repeatedly. All the makings of a very entertaining flick.

Monte Carlo Bowling

Jan 19th, 2009 Posted in Fun Things to Do | one comment »

So a friend of mine invites my husband and I to go “Monte Carlo” bowling on a Saturday night at Sunset Lanes in Beaverton. We’re like, “Sure. But what’s that?” All I knew was that somehow you can win money, but no one really understood how. But, hey, I like bowling.

Well, we had a blast. Sunset Lanes rocks as far as bowling alleys go. It’s loud and busy with big screens mounted up high showing the “game”, a jazzed up arcade, a decent bar with quality beer on tap, good pub grub (mozzarella sticks, cajun fries, towers of onion rings, etc), and actual tables at your lane so you can sit/eat/drink/socialize while you wait for your turn. Sunset even had waiters whipping by to clean up and get you more.  Just a very nice set up.  

The Monte Carlo aspect adds to the loudness and the fun. The lanes are black-lighted with random neon pins that show up. You can win money for certain combinations. Big money is for splits that you actually spare. They had a guy calling things like, “Angie on lane 30 gets $2 if she get all the pins or just the one on the right.”  I don’t know anyone in our group of 30 or so that won any big money.  I got $2 for the “you suck, you get a buck” prize for bowling 2 games under 100 🙂  And, I got another $2 and a couple of 50 cent game coupons just ’cause I was obnoxiously bad and I think the caller felt sorry for me! It costs $17 per person plus $3.25 shoe rental. You can reserve lanes a week ahead of time. Alli reserved 6 lanes and mixed us all up. I was with 3 people I’d never met and we had a great time. I’d probably have even more fun though with good buddies and my hubby. You’d want at least 2 lanes worth of friends because you share the two lanes…I’d bowl on 30 and 29 depending on where my name showed up. That was confusing at first, but I got the hang of it. I’d definitely do it again…a fun and different, grown-up night out.

Steak Marinade

Jan 15th, 2009 Posted in Good Eats - Recipe | one comment »

I grabbed the basics of this recipe from  Boy, did the steaks come out tasty. I marinated New York cuts, but I think any cut would work. I plan to try flank steak next time and make fajitas. I marinated my steaks for about 6 hours with great results, but over night would be even better. Try to keep some leftovers to slice up and have with your eggs the next morning — yummy!  One more tip: be sure to check out the “Angie’s Sweet Red Potatoes” as a possible side dish. 

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/8 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard

1/2 onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic

In a gallon-size, sealable plastic bag, combine all ingredients. Close bag and shake. When mixed, add up to 2 lbs steak and refrigerate overnight. You should move bag around from time to time to make sure marinade is soaking into all of the steak.  Barbecue or broil to desired doneness.

Angie's Sweet Red Potatoes

Jan 15th, 2009 Posted in Good Eats - Recipe | no comment »

Oh, I think I finally nailed the good ol’ steak and potatoes. We don’t eat a lot of red meat, but every once in a while the craving strikes. I decided to change it up a bit this time and got a great result.  Be sure to check out the steak marinade recipe as well. The steak got rave reviews from my whole crew.

1 lb red potatoes, cut into 1/8 pieces

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 Tbsp butter, melted

3 Tbsp honey

1 tsp dry mustard

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat 11×13 inch glass pan with cooking spray. Combine melted butter, honey, and dry mustard in a large bowl.  Toss potatoes and onions in bowl until coated.  Spread mixture evenly in glass pan, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil, toss potatoes and cook for 15 minutes more. If desired, turn oven to low broil for 5 minutes or until potatoes look lightly browned.

Historical Fiction for Kids

Jan 13th, 2009 Posted in Book Review | no comment »

During my two years of  homeschooling Ben and Joe, we read a lot of historical fiction. I adopted the literary-focused American history series from Sonlight Curriculum.  Reading to the boys every day was probably the best part of the whole homeschooling experience. That being said, a good book made our day and a bad book was incredibly tough on us. And, let’s face it, some of those “classics” are difficult to read because of the complex language and long-winded sentences. I thought it would be useful to compile a short list of books that both taught us about a time period in American history AND entertained us with good writing and a sense of humor. In no particular order:

  • Old Yeller, Fred Bipson
  • By the Great Horn Spoon!, Sid Fleischman
  • The Great Turkey Walk, Kathleen Karr
  • The Wright Brothers, Quentin Reynolds
  • The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, Bette Bao Lord
  • Caddie Woodlawn, Carol Ryrie Brink
  • The Seventeenth Swap, Eloise McGraw
  • Little Britches, Ralph Moody
  • The Great Wheel, Robert Lawson

Here’s a few that I really enjoyed. The boys gave them an “OK” but they’re longer and don’t have as much humor.  

  • Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes
  • Carry on Mr. Bowditch, Jean Lee Latham
  • Moccasin Trail, Eloise Jarvis McGraw
  • Walk the World’s Rim, Betty Baker
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth Greorge Speare