April’s flower filled birthday celebration!

This weekend, Matt and I traveled up the boring I-5 to visit foggy San Francisco and celebrate April’s 30th birthday! April is somewhat of a hippie. Even though she missed the 70s by about ten years, she’s always been a flower child at heart. Her birthday party was held in Dahlia Dell at Golden Gate Park, a lush green park on the lawn of the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. Here’s some pictures of the special day! Most of these were taken by my mom of the talented Lynnette Joy Photography.

She wore a daisy chain in her hair.

April wore a daisy chain in her hair.

 

My brother's girlfriend Alison made this amazing cake. It was delicious!

My brother’s girlfriend Alison made this amazing cake. It was delicious! We had some of April’s favorite candy, bottlecaps, pixi sticks and smarties for guests to snack on.

sistahs

The Double Chin Duo is together at last! Funny how we look so much alike yet have some major differences, right? Do you think we look alike? Some people think we look like twins!

It was great to see my best friend Katelyn and my Dad. (PS: See that little hip curve I've got?! Always a sure sign I'm slowly shrinking. Woohoo!)

It was great to see my best friend Katelyn and my Dad. (PS: See that little hip curve I’ve got?! Always a sure sign I’m slowly shrinking. Woohoo!)

 

I'm not sure if you've ever seen the Double Chin Brother! This is our sweet little brother, who is almost 25 but will always be 12 years old to us.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the Double Chin Brother! This is our sweet little brother, who is almost 25 but will always be 12 years old to us.

I enjoyed some yummy treats during the party like pork ribs, macaroni salad and a cupcake, but I tried not to drink my calories. This picture was actually taken in anticipation of another post I'll write this week about my upcoming break up with diet soda :(

I enjoyed some yummy treats during the party like pork ribs, macaroni salad and a cupcake, but I tried not to drink my calories. This picture was actually taken in anticipation of another post I’ll write this week about my upcoming break up with diet soda 🙁

We had all kinds of entertainment, from making floral crowns to a ukele player!

We had all kinds of entertainment, from making floral crowns to a ukele player!

These magnificent poppies were just a few of the many gorgeous flowers surrounding us.

These magnificent poppies were just a few of the many gorgeous flowers surrounding us.

Happy Birthday, April!

Happy Birthday, April!

Don’t forget to enter to win a prize pack filled with delicious BIG TRAIN protein drinks!!!

 

A whimsical wedding: 1920’s style!

The gorgeous bride and dapper groom

Hi everybody! Hope you had a fantastic weekend! Last weekend after Matt and I time traveled to the 60’s, we headed back to Los Angeles to enter the roaring 20s! My longtime friend and twin Amy (at work we dressed up as each other for Halloween once because so many people confused us for each other) was marrying her sweetheart Casey at the beautiful Legendary Park Plaza hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I was looking forward to this wedding for a long time, because I knew lots of my MGA friends would be present, and I was so so happy for Amy to get to say “I Do” to her sweet Casey.

 

The ceremony location

The bride and groom said their handwritten vows under an ornate painted cathedral ceiling, flanked by towering wrought iron gates and a beautiful wooden chuppah draped with flowers and ivy. The bride’s brother officiated the ceremony and did a wonderful job. I really love the touch of people using people they know to officiate their weddings – our 7th grade English teacher officiated our wedding!

Dangerous curves ahead

Matt and I put on the ritz for this wedding, and I was so excited to wear my (size 16!) dress from Nordstrom’s rack. I felt that it was really flattering and comfortable, which is a rarity for curvier gals like me. Evening wear is one of the worst things to shop for, in my opinion, almost up there with bras. However, this dress is a keeper, and I only suffered minimally in my control-top briefs. (I’ll tell you, getting home from an event where you’re wearing some sort of girdle or spanx? The moment when you take them off ranks up there with like… scoring a huge raise, winning the lotto, or some other form of massive hedonistic pleasure. Let the flab fly free after being constricted all evening. Sooo nice.)

 

The gang's all here!

After the ceremony, we headed in to the ballroom, where we enjoyed appetizers, an open bar and a bandstand style band! We swing danced, ate, chatted, drank and enjoyed the vintage photo booth. Here’s a great shot of the whole group, ready to go protest the prohibition. Matt and I cut quite a rug, so I wasn’t feeling too bad about the lavendar macarons I snacked on from the dessert bar. I always forget what great exercise dancing is until I’m out there shakin’ and boogieing and sweating.

 

 

Eric Balfour and Jenny and I

One of the other cool things about this wedding was that there was a CELEBRITY there! I guess I’m still small town Illinois girl in that I get all giddy and excited when I see someone who’s on TV. Amy’s cousin is Eric Balfour, whom I instantly recognized as Gabe from Six Feet Under, one of my favorite shows ever! I very respectfully asked if Jenny and I could take a picture with him and he was super super nice and friendly. Cool!

CAAAAAAKE!

There were three types of cake – carrot, red velvet, and some sort of oreo cookie cream. Yum! I had the carrot cake but by the time we got to cake, I was so stuffed I only had a little bit. Isn’t their cake pretty? Amy’s bouquet and center pieces, and floral elements on the cake, featured succulents! I’ve always wanted to go to a wedding with some succulent touches. I had soo much fun with all my friends at this wedding, and by the time the evening was over, Matt and I had been to the 60’s and the 20’s, all in one weekend. I only wish we could have hit up the renaissance times while we were at it too (I’ve decided that clearly, the reason I’m overweight is I’m just in the wrong era. This body would have been GOLDEN in the middle ages, y’all.)

Congratulations, Amy and Casey – and thanks for letting us be a part of your special day!

 

Weekend Wrap Up

Hey everybody! How was your weekend? Mine was good! My sister was in town with her friend Christian, and we had a nice relaxing weekend full of gardening, good eats and hanging around having good conversations. We started it off with some funfetti cake with homemade buttercream frosting… and then we went to our favorite Cajun place for some soul food. I had fried chicken, but only made it through one piece before my stomach warned me to stop! (Again – remember that whole healthy eating and then junk food thing? Crazy!)

Practicing Cake Decorating with the Star Tip!

And then the next day, we all had dinner at Stonefire Grill, where I got this delicious grilled salad with artichoke hearts, avocado and tri-tip.

Grilled salad from Stonefire Grill

After dinner, we saw Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. This was a quirky little film with lots of typical Anderson-esque eccentricness. It’s worth seeing if you’re into sort of campy, kitschy films. After the movie we couldn’t pass up a treat at Yogurtland, where I got toasted coconut frozen yogurt topped with strawberries – my favorite!

Happy Sisters after Frozen Yogurt

Today we lazed around for a bit until April and Christian headed back up the coast to Northern California. I love having visitors! I didn’t do terrible this weekend with my food, but I definitely went over my calorie count on Saturday and Friday night. I’m going to guess I’ll be up a bit on the scale tomorrow, but I know the damage isn’t irreparable. To make this liveable, I have to keep in mind that it’s going to happen from time to time, especially if I am going to opt for fried chicken over a dry grilled pork chop at a Cajun restaurant (Can you blame me?). Try as I might to be a perfectionist at other areas in my life, I’m willing to take the weight loss path a little bit slower and a little bit less perfect to still enjoy eating.

However…. enjoying eating can definitely still happen with amazing, yummy, HEALTHY food.. like our dinner tonight! A grilled boneless skinless chicken breast, Israeli cous cous, and a variety of grilled vegetables. Holy deliciousness – check this out – and for only 400 calories! Yum, Yum, Yum!!!!

Delicious and healthy 400 calorie dinner

How was your weekend? What did you eat?

PS: Want a chance to win this awesome tote bag packed with some of my favorite things? “Like” the Double Chin Diary on Facebook to help us reach 150 fans – and then we’ll host a drawing!

Bacon and Egg Tote Bag!

Birthday Weekend Treats & Eats – And a weigh in!

CAAAAAKE!

 

Hello All! I know I promised to talk about the delicious food I consumed over my birthday weekend, so without further ado, let’s dive right in, right? Good thing looking at pictures of delicious things doesn’t add calories…

 

Mexican Fiesta!

 

My parents hosted a Mexican fiesta the day before my birthday to celebrate four birthdays in the family, and two retirements. There were all sorts of Mexican nibbles, like chips and guacamole, Atomic Buffalo Turds (smoked jalapenos stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon), Carnitas, Carne Asada, Smoked Chicken, Adobo pork, spanish rice, two kinds of tortillas, and sweet corn. My father in law made amazing enchiladas, too!

Allison's beautiful and delicious cake!

And what kind of birthday would it be if there wasn’t cake? We had the Costco cake, above… and then my brother’s sweet girlfriend Alison made me this delicious berry and vanilla bean cream cake. It was fabulous, and convinced me I need to buy real vanilla beans to bake with, because they added such a yummy taste and texture.

I went to bed with a very full tummy, and I knew I didn’t do a very good job controlling myself around the deliciousness. There may or may not have been a late night chips and guacamole binge after some champagne and wine….

Cookie dough ice cream at Lalas

The next day was no different, but this time, we mixed it up and had dinner at the inlaws. But of course, what kind of birthday would it be if I didn’t have any ice cream? While walking around downtown Petaluma with my sister and husband, we stopped into Lalas, a vintage ice cream parlor, and got me a dish of cookie dough ice cream. I rarely eat ice cream, but it’s such a delicious treat! This ice cream was organic and hand made in a traditional creamery style. Tasty, tasty.

Fall Apart Beef with noodles and peas, yum!

Later that night, we had dinner at the in-laws! I requested “fall- apart beef”, something Matt learned to make when we moved in together a year before we got married. It’s basically a chuck roast that’s lightly grilled to get a little color and flavor, and then cooks in red wine and onions for a loooooooong time until it’s literally falling off the bone. It’s served with egg noodles and it’s a delicious savory and rich meal. YUM!

Like I said before, I had a tough time controlling myself over the weekend – because I’m like a drug addict with delicious food – I just can’t be around it! So when I went to my nutritionist, I prepared myself for a gain. I stepped on the scale and…

I lost 1 pound.

Yeah, I don’t know how either. All I can think is that in the past few weeks while I’ve been wrapping up the semester and scurrying around at work, I haven’t been snacking as much. I pretty much eat my breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late night snack and that’s it – none of my usual afternoon snacking. It’s also been getting warmer so my appetite is just naturally a little less. I weigh in again on Wednesday, and I’m curious to see how it goes because I’ve been eating out a lot this week, but have been exercising pretty frequently.

Stay tuned – hopefully the losing trend continues. So, how about you – how do you do with eating on celebration weekend? Part of me wants to believe calories don’t count on birthdays, but I gotta keep it real and be thankful the scale didn’t reflect my total lack of care over the weekend. It was a GOOD birthday, not just because of the food – but all the yummy things didn’t hurt! 🙂

Have a wonderful Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

Weight Watchers Recap, Week 1

Hey everybody! Tomorrow is my first weigh-in on Weight Watchers… and I’m here to report back on the week, so that tomorrow I can’t get a number and scratch my head in surprise. I have NO CLUE how it’s going to go. Here’s why: I tracked EVERYTHING I ate, from the handfuls of different marinated olives from Whole Foods to the five licks of orange cake batter to the Salami sandwich my boss brought me for lunch. (My boss just showed up today with a sandwich for my officemate and I – no rhyme or reason- isn’t that nice?! Matt also brought me home a beautiful mum plant last night after a rough day. I <3 thoughtful people.)

Salami, Mortadella and Capacolo Sandwich

So I tracked all week. That’s great, right? Weight Watchers is all about tracking. The reason why I don’t know this is going to go was that on Saturday I was at a memorial party for Matt’s grandfather, and I ate a 5-course Italian lunch – complete with chicken parmesan, antipasti, wine, bread and rigatoni. I tracked it all, but I’m worried that with restaurant tracking, you never know how accurate you’re really tracking. I earned several activity points throughout the week from exercise, but I used all of those and my weekly “flex” points (kind of like extra credit, for those not familiar with WW).

Orange Zest cake, made with greek yogurt!

Regardless of what the scale shows, I have a few “key learnings”, as we like to say in Marketing land.

1) Eating a small, low-point breakfast like greek yogurt and a piece of fruit is perfect to get me through to lunch and doesn’t destroy my points.

2) Eatings lots of fruit keeps me full and satisfied, and if it’s something super yummy like pineapple, it feels like a treat. (FRUIT is ZERO points!)

3) Keeping check on my emotions is worth more than any diet pill could ever be. I had a stressful day yesterday, and my first impulse was to eat. And not eat daintily – I wanted to stuff my piehole full of carbs and go all Cookie Monster. But I took a few deep breaths, drank some water, and moved on. Moved on to life without Ben and Jerry. And I was fine, and now I feel good about moving past that urge.

So – even if tomorrow isn’t very impressive, or worse, slightly disappointing, it was a thoughtful, conscientious week for me in terms of eating, tracking and Weight Watchers. This week is all about focusing on the positive – an activity that I like to do on a daily basis!

How was your week in terms of eating healthy?