Posted by: littlebitofparadise | July 9, 2012

Stream of Consciousness, Monday Style

Stream of Consciousness, Monday Style

1. So I discovered a Weight Watchers dream food this weekend: SkinnyGirl California Red Wine. I’m a fan of Bethenny Frankel (in particular her SkinnyGirl line of cocktails, not her RHWONY role or her advice about dieting). I tasted her SkinnyGirl red wine for the first time this past weekend, and it was delicious. If you had handed me a glass from a differently labeled bottle I would never ever have guessed it was only 100 calories for a 5 oz. glass. Bethenny, I raise my glass to you – well done!

2. I’ve had a lot of interest in my Blog about the book 50 Shades of Grey. In fact I’m still getting emails about it (thanks for all your comments and feedback!). I came across another blogger who tackled 50 Shades and the movie Magic Mike in the same post. I think she had some interesting things to say, but I was especially interested in the links she compiled at the end of her post for further reading. If the subject matter interests you, take a look at Melissa Jenna’s blog post “50 Shades of Magic Mike”.

3. So how have y’all liked the triple digit temps most of the U.S. has been experiencing of late? When it’s too hot to hang out at the POOL with your babies you know there’s something wrong with the temp, right? Whew! Saturday we had 106 here in Northern Virginia. Sunday was only a balmy 100. Felt almost cool enough to open the windows, but the Hubs would prefer I wait a few more days to try that. One thing that has helped keep my bear cubs cool the past few weeks is an awesome contraption the boys’ “PopPop” gave us for Christmas last year: a Zoku Quick Pop Maker. I’m sure the Zoku is pricey because it’s sold at Brookstone, but it would be an excellent gift suggestion for any family who lives elsewhere than the North or South Poles. Zoku freezes popsicles in 7-9 minutes right there on the kitchen counter. This summer I’ve been pureeing ripe fruit and freezing it into pops for both Mark and Luke. Their favorite so far seems to be frozen watermelon pops. Messy, sometimes even super messy, but so refreshing and fun for cooling off on a summer evening. Check out my happy bear cub with this watermelon pop below.










4. The hand-foot-mouth virus appears to be running rampant this summer, all up and down the Eastern seaboard. I’ve talked to friends in Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and here in Virginia and it seems to be everywhere. I’ve heard from several moms that a prime breeding ground for the virus is community/public pools. In fact most of my girlfriends who’s families have gotten it this summer think it originated at their community pool. My wise and wonderful neighbor whose five children currently have hand-foot-mouth attributes their very mild cases to the fact she significantly upped their Vitamin C and Ecchinacea doses after they were exposed. I’m upping my own family’s VC and Echinacea doses this month, avoiding the public pool as much as possible, and breathing a little extra prayer the bear cubs are spared…

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease

5. Did you hear about the crazy freak storm that hit the East Coast last weekend and knocked power out for millions of hot and sweaty people? We were amongst the lucky million who lost power. It was another balmy 100 degree day like this one. So thankful to the crew that restored our home’s power only 24 hours after we lost it. I know many in Maryland and New Jersey were without power for a week! Small emergency situations like losing power in dangerouly hot weather are sometimes good reminders of the need for family preparedness. The storm has sparked much fruitful conversation and planning in our home this week about better preparing our family for true emergency and disaster situations. My father is a “pro” at family survival post-disaster, after living through the 2004 Hurricane Charley in southwest Florida. He recommended that Pete and I consider a generator that can run the major appliances in our home during a significant (and long) power outtage. He said Honda generators are the top of the line because Honda makes the best motors. However, he has discovered that Northern Tool makes a generic generator that has a Honda motor in it, so you get the best motor but don’t have to pay the top price for the same quality. Pete and I have started saving for a good-size generator. I think it’s going to be a wise emergency preparedness step for our little family. If you’re interested in hearing more about our emergency family preparedness adventures, definitely leave a comment and I’ll share updates in a later stream of consciousness.

6. Another monumental discovery from this past weekend: Greek frozen yogurt. This stuff is amazing! The Hubs and I enjoyed a pint of the vanilla flavor made by Ciao Bella. It was fat free and only 130 calories per serving. I paired it with a Weight Watchers recipe for bananas foster for our Saturday night dessert. Beg, plead, whine, bribe, email, text, leave a comment, and I can be pursuaded to share the recipe (Only 5 WW points per serving, dark rum, frozen yogurt, and deliciousness included).

7. The best news of all (in fact perhaps the best news ever): Baby Bear cut his first two teeth this past week! Woohoo! Can I get a glory halleluia?!! His teething adventures with these first two chompers took way longer to come in than Mark’s did. It’s been a painful month or so around here. Da Mama is thrilled by the prospect of more sleep at night, and this little man is thrilled with the watermelon pop stickiness smeared all over him.


  Have a wonderful week friends!



  1. Wait you don’t like Bethenny’s diet advice? I dont know much about her and have never seen her reality tv shows, but her book Naturally Thin was the single biggest help from taking me from a size 8 to a size 2 after my baby! I think she has been misquoted several places to make it sound like an anorexic girl’s “thinspiration”, but in reality, I found it to be extremely healthy and helpful in breaking the dieter’s harmful cycle of binging and purging. A lot of her “break through” advice was pretty much just common sense about enjoying all things in moderation, but it is still a book that I pick up every now and then for a little encouraging refresher to stay away from the diet cycle. I mean to each his own lol… I am by no means a Skinnygirl fanatic 😉 – but I do always encourage people to pick up that book if they’re discouraged about weight loss!

    • Hi Kallah!
      I guess I have a mixed bag answer for you. I like Bethenny’s concept of “Naturally Thin/SkinnyGirl” in general, and I’ve certainly adapted some of her ideas into my family’s eating habits and they’re great (such as “use Greek nonfat yogurt with a sqeeze of lemon, salt, and pepper in place of sour cream” and “if you want cheesy eggs use the fancy thin shred instead of a regular size grater so you don’t use too much”).
      However I don’t think Bethenny’s lifestyle is practical in application for most people. And, I don’t agree with her concept of “moderation.” For me, it’s not practical to tout moderation as “order a fancy juicy steak when you go out on date night, but only eat a few bites of the steak chewing very slowly, and only eat half of the spinach side dish – take the rest home for another day and eat the spinach in an egg white omelet for breakfast.” Girlfriend – when I go out for a steak dinner date, I want to eat the whole thing. I’d rather splurge on every bite of those steak calories and make up for it with extra time working out later. Or “when you crave a bagel pull out all the inside bread of the bagel and just eat the bagel ‘shell’.” First I think that’s a waste of food, and secondly I think it’s impractical that people will be satisfied with a bagel shell. I think a Weight Watchers approach enables people to make a better lifestyle switch: eat the bagel if you crave it; make it a wholegrain one if you can, but even if it’s not, eat the bagel, track the calories and make a healthier choice for your next meal. I think Bethenny’s second book “Skinnygirl Dish” had more impractical ideas about moderation than “Naturally Thin”, but still – I feel like if I followed her plan of just eating a tiny bit for a meal it would leave me hungry and unsatisfied. Have you seen her video cooking classes online? The way she makes a “lunch salad” makes me laugh – it’s eensy beensy tiny!
      Anyway, I am THRILLED her plan worked for you. I had the size 8-2 transformation following a low-carb lifestyle close to the Southbeach model. Now for maintenance I use Weight Watchers with my own low-bad-carbs/healthy whole foods twist, and it seems to keep my whole family healthy and happy.
      So, to each his own when it comes to dieting and nutrition lifestyles…different things certainly work for different people and that’s great.
      Thanks for your comment!

      • Haha yeah it’s crazy how people all respond so differently to stuff with health/fitness/nutrition :). I’m the exact opposite of you – counting calories overwhelms and frustrates me everytime; though my dad lovvvves Weight Watchers! I just had a great experience using the emotional tools Bethenny shares. I eat far more than she does – but she also is a self-confessed-non-exerciser, and I love the way intense exercise makes my whole body feel! No two successful diet and nutrition plans look the same, for anyone!

        By the way – so grateful for the story you shared about the Britax. It confirmed Jason and my concerns with our crappy convertible carseat… And we totally agreed with your rationale, esp after your experience. You can’t put a price tag on the safety of your children – esp at the mercy of other awful drivers! Thanks for sharing – I feel such peace since we did that!!

      • Hi Kallah,
        I’m glad the car seat post was helpful to you. Definitely a tough lesson learned at our house. In fact Luke’s new Britax Marathon 70 arrived from Amazon today. He’s so fat that at 7 months he doesn’t fit in the baby carrier anymore, so we had to bite the bullet and order the second Britax much sooner than we were expecting. Yay for Chubba Hubbas. 😉
        As far as Weight Watchers, just wanted to mention that in their new program you don’t have to count calories at all. I’ve been following their program since February and I have’t counted a single calorie on anything I’ve put in my mouth – I just track my food on my WW APP, and the APP uses a system of calculating a food’s protein, carbs, and fiber to designate a point value. I’m supposed to eat up to a certain # of points daily/weekly. Anyway, just thought I’d mention it. It’s the most no-brainer easiest nutrition plan I’ve ever following in my life. Feels like a non-diet because they give you so much freedom with food. No wonder your Dad likes it – he seems to be a “foodie” like I am. 😉

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