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Friday, September 28, 2012

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.  it's called 'friday philosophy' and i'm gonna keep it up weekly. (or try to!)

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i'm a cheery person.  i say 'good morning' with a smile, even if it's 4:45am.

(trust me, the folks that came to the fitness club i worked early-mornings at are well aware of this personality trait.)

it's just who i am.

i get asked pretty often how i'm so cheery.  well, frankly, it's because i choose to be.

i choose to smile.

i choose to start my day with a good attitude.

and you know what?  there are days when it's hard.  there are days when my inner voice isn't as cheery as i come across...but those days are few and far between.

mostly, because i choose to be happy.  i just make a conscious effort to think of the better, not the worse...relate to the positive, not the negative.

i smile because it's contagious.  and, in the words of my favorite elf, buddy:

i just like to smile. smiling is my favorite.

so, that's a little about me.

i like to be happy.  i like to smile.  and i hope it makes you smile too.

happy friday!


=) andrea


p.s.  today is day twelve.  i worked out three days this week and feel much less sore than i did last week at this time.  yay for progress!  next week i'll get measured to see just how much progress i've made!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

day ten.


i'm so glad to say i've successfully made it through ten days of this new lifestyle.

i'm eating so much fresh produce it makes me feel good in the mind, not just the body.

i'm increasing my activity levels and i'm enjoying the challenge...mostly because i get a high-five and a 'great job andrea!' every time i've completed my workout.  i've also noticed that each exercise i do has become easier during the last 4 workouts.

yay for progress! =)

i'm excited for my first weight-in and measurements because I know there will be a decrease.

i still have yet to buy that too-small-right-now-but-will-hopefully-fit-in-december outfit for our anniversary...just because i'm not a shopper...i don't browse...i don't even buy clothes unless i need them, so i'm trying to make the outfit more of a priority.

speaking of the outfit...i need your help, dear readers!  our anniversary is december 2nd.  we live in new hampshire.  it's gonna be chilly.  what should i pick out?  i had a few things in mind...

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whatcha think?!  i like the idea of adding a versatile dress to my wardrobe.  something cozy for the colder months that i can dress up or down.  if you have any other ideas, let me know!

wish me luck in my browsing adventure!  (i know i'm probably the only girl in the world who couldn't care less about clothes-shopping!...maybe that will change...)

=) andrea



 

Monday, September 24, 2012

sunday yumday


i have to tell you something...i have a little crush...actually, it's more like i'm in love...

...with mushrooms.

i know there are people out there who love 'em and people out there who hate 'em.

i love 'em.  like luuurrrrvveee.  so if you don't like 'em...sorry.  more for me!  =)

there's just something about a earthy little mushroom that makes me so happy.  and they're good for you too!

so, today i'm sharing my favorite mushroom recipe...that also happens to be not only delicious, but pretty darn healthy.

don't worry...there is cheese.  =)

andrea's stuffed mushrooms:

here's what you'll need:

mushrooms (medium...good size for 'stuffing'), 8-16 oz.  (8 oz. good for 1-2 servings)
baby spinach (5 oz. package)
goat cheese (i used a 4 oz. package of 'president' brand with herbs)
shallot or onion, finely chopped
garlic, minced
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper



here's what you'll do:

1.  preheat oven to 375.


2.  mince the garlic and chop your shallot/onion.  remove stems from mushrooms and chop about half of them pretty finely.  (save the other half of the stems for mushroom soup or a stock!)  



place the mushrooms in a baking dish, with the removed-stem-side up.

3.  heat a pan on medium heat with extra virgin olive oil.  put your chopped onion and garlic in the pan until the onions are translucent.  add chopped mushroom stems, stirring occasionally.



4.  once the onions, garlic, and mushroom stems are cooked, add the baby spinach to the pan and cover.  turn the spinach every few minutes until it's completely cooked through.

5.  crumble goat cheese into a small bowl.  once the spinach mixture is all cooked and cooled slightly, add to the goat cheese with some salt and pepper.  mix together so it seems well incorporated while still leaving larger chunks of goat cheese.



6.  scoop about a tablespoon into each mushroom cap.



7.  (optional) pour 1/4 - 1/2 cup of white wine into the baking dish with the stuffed mushrooms.

8.  bake for 10-15 minutes, until they are nice and warm and the cheese gets a little gooey.


9.  enjoy!  =)


there is something about the spinach/mushroom combination that i just love.  maybe it's the earthiness of the flavors...but they're a match made in heaven for my tastebuds.  and throw some goat cheese in there...

like i said before...i'm in love.

i know there are a lot of stuffed mushroom recipes out there...but this is the only way i've made them.  well, i've made them differently, sometimes with frozen spinach (sometimes you've gotta use what you've got!), sometimes without the onion and garlic, sometimes i add a few bread crumbs to the top, sometimes i layer the goat cheese and spinach and top with a little extra crumble of goat cheese...but this way is easiest.  prepare it, mix it, scoop it, cook it, eat it.

what's your favorite bite sized appetizer?  these are definitely mine!  send over any recipe you want me to try and i'll feature it here on my kinda perfect!

=) andrea

p.s.  days 6 and 7 went great.  i was sore on day 6 from my workout the day before, but kept drinking lots of water to stay hydrated and keep my muscles happy.  day 7 we stayed busy because it was mike's birthday and we did some rearranging in our apartment!  i promise, i'll share pictures...very soon! =)



Sunday, September 23, 2012

a quarter century


happy 25th birthday to my one and only!  mike has joined the quarter century club. =)


mike, you truly are...

the frosting to my cupcake.  you make every day sweeter...

the flip to my flop.  you make every day more interesting...

the peanut to my butter.  you smooth out my nuttiness...

the cheese to my macaroni.  which you know is my favorite part...

the bacon to my eggs.  you, like bacon, make everything better...

the spring in my step.  you keep me smiling and looking forward to our future together.


i love you!!  happy 25th birthday!!!

=) andrea


Friday, September 21, 2012

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.  it's called 'friday philosophy' and i'm gonna keep it up weekly. (or try to!)

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ain't that the truth.

after this week...i know it is.  

a huge thanks to ben, jamie, and mike at kdr fitness.  i know i'm the one that took the big leap to join the gym and make big changes...but they're the ones that are helping me...pushing me...encouraging me...and i'm so grateful.

it's hard to admit things you don't like about yourself....trust me, i did it for years.  (yes, yearsssss.)  just like with an addiction, admitting there's an issue is the first step.  (whether you're overweight or just unhappy...or whatever it is.)  taking the steps to make the changes are hard...but they get easier.

getting up in the morning at least an hour earlier than i'm used to isn't easy, but getting a workout in during the hours before my day really starts makes it a breeze.  and you know what?  having more of my time committed to something makes me a significantly more organized person.  i have to plan...i have to think things through...i have to write things down and make sure my schedule works.

plus, i don't spend all day trying to talk myself out of working out.  'cause it's already done!

when do you work out?  what do you do?  in addition to going to the gym, i like to take walks...especially in this crisp (almost) fall air.

happy friday!

=) andrea


p.s.  my legs are less jello-like after today's workout.  they're definitely sore...but it feels good to know i'm gaining strength!  thanks for the workout today jamie! =)


Thursday, September 20, 2012

instagram photo dump


what i've been up to...in a little instagram photo dump! =)

a little labor day weekend fire with my besties

after a labor day cruise through the white mountains of new hampshire on the kancamagus highway, we stopped at the muddy moose for a late lunch...delish! =)

my kitty boy, leo.  he's such a little love!

cheering on the pats with a mug full of shipyard pumpkinhead!  yummmm.

delicious nfl watching treat...cheesy ranch burger bites!

i've got my eye on you.  my very, very blue eye.

date night with my mister!

up close and personal with little baby mini kitty, a.k.a. smooshie face.

saturday chores:  car wash!  i thought the soap looked kinda birch-like.  i like it!

follow me on instagram -- mykindaperfect.  

what have you been up to?

=) andrea

p.s.  day four.

i'm sore.  going back for more tomorrow! =)

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

day three.


this morning i worked out with mike, one of the trainers at kdr fitness.

it was hard!  my legs feel like jello.

i'll be back to kdr on friday for more!  it definitely feels good to be sore.

that's all.



=) andrea




 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

day two.


so, yesterday i joined a gym.  (don't worry, this blog isn't going to all of a sudden turn into a weight loss blog, but sharing my journey will add accountability to myself because you have all just become my cheerleaders, dear readers!)

part of joining kdr fitness includes a consultation, which is what i had yesterday.  i met with ben dearman (the owner/head program developer/superman), we chatted about my goals, created focus by setting more specific goals, took measurements, and started a food journal.

let's start with my goals.

1. lose weight
2. get fit/gain strength
3. be healthier

okay, so they're a little generic.  that's why ben and i chatted for an hour...i needed more focus.

1. lose weight: sometime in the future, mike and i want to get married and have babies.  the thought of trying on a wedding dress gives me hives.  i do not want to get married at this weight.  and i am not at a healthy weight for pregnancy.  and i don't want to be a lazy pregnant lady.  i want to be active and fit so i'll be around for a long, long time with my children.

2. get fit/gain strength: i'm not fit.  i exercise sometimes.  i need to exercise more for my health, but i also want to be strong.  i want to be able...able to do whatever i set my mind on doing.

3. be healthier: i'm a pretty healthy eater...but when i cheat, i cheat 100%.  so, instead of playing the 'i-wonder-if-i-should-or-shouldn't-have-this-cookie' game, i now have a food journal.  i've tried using 'myfitnesspal' app on my phone, but it constantly errors out before i can enter anything, so i uninstalled it.  (i'm 95% sure it's my phone, not the app. stupid droid.)  my food journal includes a list of proteins (must eat one at each meal every 3-4 hours), fruits & veggies (must eat at least one at each meal), starches (should be eaten sparingly, only on work out days and immediately before or after a workout), and fats (which can be eaten at any meal).

for me, having guidelines or rules to follow is easier than trying to 'eat right'.  and when you have a food journal, you don't have to remember what you ate, because it's all written down!

so, in getting more focused on my goals, ben challenged me.  on december 2nd, mike and i will celebrate our 5th anniversary of togetherness.  my challenge:  buy an outfit that is 1-2 sizes smaller than i currently wear, hang it up so i see it every day, and work like hell to fit into it in 75 days.

well, today is day 2, so 74 days.  not that i'm counting.

ben took my measurements yesterday, which he will use as a baseline for my progress.  while there may be a week when i lose weight, but don't lose inches, or vice versa, it's good to know where i started.

similarly to completing the whole living challenge, i feel a sense of renewed creativity with food.  i love food...(obviously)...but it's easy to get in a rut of basic meals that don't offer exceptional nutrition.  now that i have guidelines to follow about proteins at each meal, etc., i feel confident in this journey.

welcome to my new world!

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=) andrea



Monday, September 17, 2012

day one.


i did it!  i joined a gym.

kdr fitness to be specific.

this morning is my consultation with ben dearman.  i've known ben for awhile now.  i used to work at the front desk at one of our local gyms and ben was a personal trainer.  long story short, 'personal training' in the way that the average person thinks of it, is not what ben wanted to do.  especially when the gym he was working for (along with so many others) was so focused on making money, rather than the clients' results.

so, he created his own gym.

k.d.r. stands for 'knowledge driven results'.  ben knows a lot about the body...more than just some exercises or weight lifting...like real anatomy and medical stuff.  ben is extremely knowledgable and personal.  he wants you to succeed.  and he wants me to succeed.

i'll get measured and start a routine...i'll get a food journal and change my lifestyle...

today is day one.

welcome to my new world!

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=) andrea


Friday, September 14, 2012

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.  it's called 'friday philosophy' and i'm gonna keep it up weekly. (or try to!)

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today i've decided that i will join a gym.

let me preface this statement by saying that i do not enjoy or look forward to working out.  i always feel better once i have worked out and i feel even better after i've kept up with it and notice results, feel healthier and more able, etc.

well, my results aren't happening.  i'm my own worst enemy and have an extremely hard time holding myself accountable.  i'm pretty good at eating well, but i know that for my health and future, i need to exercise more.

and, i've actually been trying to work out more regularly...but i also have been actually making a lot of excuses very regularly.  while a couple of them are valid excuses (at least in my mind), they're more based on my own lack of self-confidence/esteem than they are me actually trying to get out of working out.

i want to work out alone.

really, i just want to have some alone time.  (i work a lot and 99% of the time that i spend at home, mike is there too...which i love...and it's not an offense to anybody, especially mike!...but sometimes i just want to be alone.)  then, when i do have an hour to myself, i can't believe i actually have a chance to kick back on the couch with my laptop searching pinterest while katching up with the kardashians!!  then after an hour of watching those rich b*%@$es that can afford a personal trainer and have enough time in their 'busy working lives' to do whatever the hell they want krazy kardashians...i feel like crap and wished i had just worked out.  (so, in my mind, maybe if i had more alone time, i'd take advantage of it to work out.)

plus, i don't want anyone to see me jiggling around.  so working out alone is better, right?

i can't afford to join a gym.

well, i've decided at this point in my struggles with being fit, i really can't afford not to.  for several reasons.  (plus, after reworking my budget, i can fit a gym membership into the plan.)

1.  i want to lose weight before i get married.  (yeah yeah, i'm not even engaged yet...but it's something i obviously look forward to.)

2.  i want to lose weight before we have a baby.  (yeah yeah, totally in the future...but still, i need to think about my future!  plus, i'll never have any alone time then, so i've gotta prepare for it!)

3.  i need to be healthy or #1 and #2 won't matter.


so, how's that for kicking my own ass into joining a gym?

if i wanna work towards my goals...i've got to give it 100%...dontcha think?


in fitness and in health...

=) andrea

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

updates!


hey there dear readers...

just wanted to keep you in the loop of a couple of updates that have happened on my kinda perfect...in case you didn't notice.  (not that i don't think you did.)

for one, i have been told by some people (who are not constantly connected to facebook or twitter) that they check out my kinda perfect when they think of it, maybe a couple times a week...but if, say, they got an email notifying them of a new post, they'd check it immediately... so, i made it happen!



it's a handy little tool where you can enter your email address and when i publish a new post, you'll be notified via email!  genius, huh?  =)

in addition...i like to make things easier for everyone, including myself...and sometimes even i can't remember every detail of what i've blogged about...or when i blogged about it...or where i linked to or from...

you get the picture.

so, i remedied this issue by adding the 'search' tool.  it's over on the right...down the page a bit...looks like this:



and now you can search too!  if you want to look up my favorite appetizer, pizza dip, it will be right there at your fingertips!  or maybe you're looking for pictures from jamaica... or my handmade christmas cards...

no matter what you're looking for...i want you to find it! =) 

and if you're a google user (gmail, blogger, etc.)...click on the 'join this site' link and you'll be a member of my site!  i've got a whopping nine members right now and would love for you to become a member too! =)

anything else you want to see here on my kinda perfect?  just email me here and i'll make it happen!

in updates and ease of use...

=) andrea

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11


today is a day that stirs memories of the terrible events that once defined this day.  i know i will never forget where i was when i first heard the news...

i was a junior at gettysburg college.  i had a 9:00am history class:  the history of the united states since 1945 with professor michael birkner.  as i walked across stine lake (not actually a lake, but a green area of the campus), i felt very present in the moment.  the morning was cool and sunny.  i passed dozens of other students on my way to class.  i could hear whispers.  panicky whispers.

as i settled into my seat, professor birkner entered the room.  he was so enthusiastic about history and always wanted to teach us a lesson about our great nation...

we all learned a way bigger lesson that day.

he announced to us there had been a terrible attack.

we all gasped.  we didn't know what to think.  we didn't even really know what to ask about what was happening.

we listened to the radio in silence.

once he realized we were not going to have a normal lesson that day...professor birkner let us out.

i rushed back to my room.  i couldn't figure out what all this meant.

i arrived back in my apartment, my roommates huddled around the t.v. trying to make sense of what they were broadcasting.

so many students at gettysburg college were from the new york city area.  parents who worked in the city.  some who lost their lives in the towers that day.

the phone lines were intermittent as hundreds of people on campus were reaching out to loved ones, praying for their safety.

i was stunned.  how could this be happening?

i tried to call my dad, who travels so much for work.  it took several attempts until i could get through.  one of my dearest friends, tia, called me to check on my dad.

he was safe, at work, in new hampshire.  i was so glad.

but i was so sad.

somewhere across campus were kids who just lost a parent.

somewhere in n.y.c., pennsylvania, and washington d.c., there were countless people who just lost the most important person in their lives.  their sister, father, daughter, mother, son, brother, uncle...

and somewhere in the world, there was someone who thought this was all a good idea.

but you know what?  9/11 is not defined by that person.  and 9/11 is not defined by the attacks.  while we will never, ever forget how the pit in our stomachs felt that ominous day, we will never let that violence define us.

because we are americans.  

we fight for our freedoms and so many have given their lives to protect that.

we stand up for what we believe in and make sure our voices are heard.

we work together in our communities to make this a better place to live.

we memorialize those who we've lost because they are our heroes.

we remember always the events of 9/11, but it does not define us.

we will never forget.  


god bless america.

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=) andrea



p.s.  tia, i'll never forget that phone call.  that is one of the most defining moments in our relationship.  i'll be forever grateful for your concern and your friendship...that day and beyond.

wonton 'chips'!


please bear with me.  i promise this week will not be filled with wonton-wrapper-only posts.  just yesterday and today. =)

so, yesterday i showed you the delicious cheesy ranch burger bites i made for our football watching on sunday...and i had already shared how i made crab rangoon bites...

and i need to over share more about these wonton wrappers.  i'm clearly obsessed.

but seriously...wonton wrappers make the best chips/crackers for dipping!

instead of cramming a whole wonton wrapper in a spot for a mini muffin...cut the wrappers in half.  i did it at an angle to make them more of a trapezoid than a rectangle...(where is this inner math geek coming from?!)...

then i put them in the greased mini muffin pan...sprayed the tops with cooking spray and bake for about 8 minutes at about 350-375.  you could also use a baking dish or pan and just have the wrapper 'bend' up the side to create the 'scoop'!

check 'em out!



they're like the most perfect little scoops for dipping!!!  and i love the crunch factor.  they are so crunchy and they're strong enough to hold up for a thick and chunky dip!  and the flavor is mild, so you're dip will really shine!

this is my new favorite thing to serve with dip.  i think the next time i need to bring a dish somewhere i will make some of these wonton 'chips' and make a crab rangoon dip!  and yes, i'll share that culinary adventure here on my kinda perfect!

have you ever discovered something is really good for something else unexpected?  i knew i loved the crunch of these wonton wrappers, but never thought about trying to make them into a chip!  but it's so easy, you should definitely try these!

=) andrea

Monday, September 10, 2012

sunday yumday!


remember a few weeks ago when i made the crab rangoon bites with my new favorite thing -  wonton wrappers?

well, i like the wonton wrappers so much, i decided to use them again!

for the official launch of football season...what did i make?

cheesy ranch burger bites!

i wasn't sure how much i wanted to make, so i just kinda went for it, but this recipe will make at least 32 individual cheesy ranch burger bites...and it's easily halved.

here's what you'll need:

1 pkg. wonton wrappers
2 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz. each), softened
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
4 tablespoons hidden valley ranch dressing/dip seasoning mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (i used mexican blend because that's what i had)
mini muffin pan(s)

and here's what you do!

preheat oven to 350.  spray your mini muffin pans with cooking spray.

we're gonna start with the wontons by taking each wrapper and putting them in each muffin spot.  you'll want to firmly press any folds that occur to make sure they all keep their cup shape...like this:

  
you'll want to spray them once you've formed the cups, just to make sure they get crispy in the oven.  then bake these for 8-10 minutes until they start to brown...like this:




while the wrappers are baking, you can prepare your mixture.  start with browning your ground beef.  in a large(ish) bowl, put your cream cheese and ranch seasoning, and mix well.




then add your ground beef...




and then mix in the shredded cheese...




and then scoop the mixture into each of the wonton cups!





now just put them back in the oven to get the mixture nice and warm and ooey gooey.  another 8 minutes should be plenty...you don't want your wonton cups to burn!




since it was opening day for the nfl...it helps to have a cold mug of your favorite beer to help root for your favorite team...

go patriots!  that shipyard pumpkinhead ale went down mighty smooth!

did you make any fun and delicious treat for football sunday yumday?!  my friend andrea from pie birds, buttons, and muddy puddles shared the recipe she made me when we crafted together...check out her spicy black bean dip here!  sooo yummy!  

be sure to email me your recipes and i'll be sure to try them out and maybe feature it on sunday yumday! =)

happy football watching!

=) andrea
 

Friday, September 7, 2012

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.  it's called 'friday philosophy' and i'm gonna keep it up weekly. (or try to!)

...and sometimes i'm just in the mood to laugh!

...and i don't own an iron!  how ironic!  {image via}

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happy weekend everyone!

=) andrea
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