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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Repeat! Repeat!

Below is a blog post that I did exactly a year ago today....September 27, 2011.   

I am reposting this for 3 reasons---
#1--For any new-to-the-band or considering-the-band or pre-band readers who would just like to know a few things......I'm considerate like that....
#2--I'm knee deep in life right now.  My mind is completely preoccupied with work stuff, home stuff and just stuff..... Yeah,  I'm overstuffed....
#3--I am heading into a weekend that is chalk full of all that stuff I mentioned in #2.....I'm just too damn tired to explain any more than that.....

Here ya go......
I'll be back next week in real time! 

Before I jump feet first into the glorious, colorful and eventful month of October, I wanted to spend the rest of the month's blogging opportunities to pause and answer a few basic Lap band/diet/food related/weight loss related questions that have come my way via email over the past few weeks.......
In the interest of time and just in case there are others who may want to know the same things, I decided to do them all in one full swoop and share with everyone!
Let me preface my responses by saying that this is how things are for ME on my own person journey.....your mileage may vary.

Let's start with....
The Basics....some general questions....
*How long did it take to lose 100 pounds?

It took almost 2 years to lose 100 pounds

*How old were you when you got your Lap Band?

I was 48....August 10, 2007

*Where you ever successful on any other diets?

Yes, in 1986, I lost over 80 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1987, I lost over 40 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1989, I lost over 50 pounds with Jenny Craig.
Yes, in 1991, I lost over 60 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1993, I lost over 50 pounds with Jenny Craig.
Yes, in 1994, I lost over 40 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1995, I lost over 60 pounds with Bariatric Weight Loss.
Yes, in 1996, I lost over 30 pounds with Weight Watchers.
Yes, in 1997, I lost over 40 pounds with Bariatric Weight Loss.
Yes, in 1998, I lost over 80 pounds with Bariatric Weight Loss.
Yes, in 2000, I lost over 50 pounds with Bariatric Weight Loss.
Yes, in 2001, I lost over 20 pounds with Jenny Craig....
Yes, you get the picture....

*Did you tell anyone about having Lap Band surgery?

Yes, I told anyone and everyone who would listen.
If I didn't tell them, my father did.

*How hard was the recovery?

It wasn't bad. Sure, the first few days were not fun. After all, it is surgery.
But, within a week, I was out test driving new vehicles, I went to a party and I even went shopping! You can go all the way back in my archives to see what I was saying back then!

*What was the hardest part of getting the Lap Band?

The months leading up to it--I was completely panicked about giving up my beloved Diet Coke and Gin and Tonics (no fizzy stuff) and depressed to the point of shedding lots of tears about never eating pasta or bread again. I was extremely worried about not ever being able to use a straw. I was abnormally transfixed on what I couldn't have and I had myself convinced I would fail because of those things. I wasn't worried about too much else---not even the pain of surgery! I wasn't even concerned about any risks or complications. It was all about the fizzy drinks, the straws, the pasta and the bread.

*Did your insurance cover the cost of the surgery? And, if so, did you have any trouble getting your insurance company to approve it?

My insurance covered all but $900 of the surgery (not sure why!). My insurance company approved it on the first try. In addition to jumping through every hoop that they required prior to getting the surgery, I have to admit that I went over board on giving them more information than probably any Lap Band patient in the world. They probably approved me in self-defense!! I put together a huge binder that cost me over $12 to mail!!! I treated getting approved as if it were a job--I left no stone unturned. I provided extremely detailed documentation about my weight loss history---I itemized costs and efforts and results and exact time frames. I'm not much of a data person but I can proudly say that with the help of technology and some smart friends--I did pie charts and graphs and spreadsheets! I solicited all of my medical records and I had several of my doctors write letters of reference and recommendations. I provided quite a bit of family history ---especially about the weight issues family members have faced and the outcomes of their obesity (illness, death, quality of life). I even told them what every person in my immediate family weighed! I wrote quick stories about how my obesity impacted my life, my marriage, my parenting, etc. I sent them pictures too!!! I even told them about how my own mother succumbed to some crazy diet--getting daily injections of pregnant women's urine and only eating 500 calories a day (a diet that is still out there!)---only to soon be diagnosed with intestinal cancer that took her life in less than 2 months--leaving behind 3 young girls. Yes, I pulled out all the stops.

I am not suggesting anyone go as over board as I did but what I am saying is that you have to put in the time and effort to get the result you want. Some insurance companies may just have policies that won't permit the surgery. Mine permitted it but they also made it clear they would not approve it for everyone! So, I made damn sure they would approve me!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why don't I believe.......

that the dress will fit?

I bought this dress last Fall......

Today, I am hosting a rather important visitor to campus.  Or so the story goes....
I have to admit, I had no idea how important he was when his associate contacted me several weeks ago to arrange for the visit.  It was just another day at the office doing what I do....
But, as I made plans for the visit with my cohorts across campus....who evidently know more about folks like him.....his importance in the world of technology and financial success and entrepeneurship and all things new and exciting started to take shape.   Soon, I found myself immersed in a world that included dealing with limo drivers and the press and personal assistants and angles of cameras and escorts with certain levels of academic ranking.  Yawn.
Honestly---I felt badly but I didn't find myself  gaga over the fact that I was going to be in the presence of a certain level of  greatness.  I wasn't even excited by the possibility that this was a big coo for me.  Even though several people kept telling me so... this stage of my career, I'm not all that concerned about making a name for myself just because I somehow got involved with bringing this guy to the top tier institution where I have spent well over half my life. I figure he would have found his way there anyway even without me....
 If truth be told---meeting Ringo Starr (and having him sit right outside of my office for well over an hour!) when he came to campus with his wife Barbara Bach's daughter for an admissions interview and seeing Bon Jovi perform right outside my building (and having a perfect view of his cute little ass) during the first Obama campaign---those were good times.  I guess you could say I'm much more smitten with good music and cute rock stars than I am with smart young business guys....
There comes a time when you have to look the part.
You have to pay a certain level of respect.
I owe my career and my campus and our visitor that much--right?
And, the best way I know how to do any of that is with fashion.
What to wear? What to wear?
As I told you---I did a major shoe shopping haul this past weekend.
I figured this was the perfect time to show off a fun pair of Franco Sarto peep-toe booties that were part of my shoesy binge.
We all know that starting with the shoes as inspiration for an outfit can prove to be challenging.
But, I was up for it.
It was the perfect diversion from all the mind boggling work of packing up my son and straightening out utilities and shopping for furniture and  dealing with movers and schedules.....yadda, yadda, yadda
My mind went straight to work....starting with the shoes.
After mulling it over a bit--I remembered a black and white houndstooth A-line dress that I bought last year at H&M.   With a pair of black tights and some fun accessories--it all came together in my head.
The perfect accompaniment to my great new shoes.
I was sold on the whole look.
Until those familiar fat girl thoughts started creeping into my head.
What if the dress doesn't fit?
Fat girl behavior had reared it's ugly head again.
I just hate when that happens.  
The notion that a dress that I bought last year would not fit me this year---yes, it was pure fat Judi thinking.
I come by it honestly--that's for sure.
I've got years worth of stories to prove it.
I couldn't shake the feeling that somehow, some way, that dress would not fit me.
After all---it was a pretty straight cut.
And, it was a Size MEDIUM! 
Damn, why didn't I buy the Size LARGE?
All of a sudden, I found myself mourning the loss of such a cute dress.
I even had myself convinced that the dress would not fit.
Trust me---I had no evidence to back this was the fear talking.
Slowly, I had to talk myself into trying on the dress.
It took me two days of gripping fear before I could actually do it.   
It was agonizing---so much so that I almost had myself talked into another outfit.
But, the image of how wonderful those shoes would look with that dress gave me the courage I needed to march upstairs and try on the dress.  


It fit.
Let the good times roll.  


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Band talk.......

Our WELCOME FALL Happy Hour this past Saturday night......
 Although I mention my Lapband often, I have not devoted an entire blog post to my band for quite some time.  Probably because it's become as much a part of me as my left arm.  And, you know, who blogs about their left arm all the time? I mean....maybe one or two left arm posts but that's about it!
We all know I have a left arm.... right?

This fact struck me the other day when I mentioned something about blogging as it related to my own blog to a colleague and he inquired what my blog was about.   My immediate answer was "Lapband Life".  He looked at me as if I had two heads.  So, I explained it a little further by telling him that 5 years ago, I got a Lapband and I started blogging at that time. 
His response: "So, you have found enough to say everyday for 5 years about your Lapband?" 
I blog about my kids, my job, fashion, food, socializing, random thoughts, restaurants, traveling, decorating---and all those things I do everyday.....the things that comprise my life while  living with my Lapband. 
So, yeah, if I put it in that context, I have found enough to say everyday for 5 years about my Lapband.
These days, my Lapband is not news to anyone.
My weight loss isn't news either.
There's lots of people in my life these days who didn't even know me when I was 115 pounds heavier.
And, there are others in my life that confess that they even forgot that I weighed that much!

However, meet me for the first time and in the first 30 minutes, I might tell you about it. 
If I don't tell you about my Lapband, I'll tell you about my kids.
If I don't tell you about my Lapband or my kids, I might tell you about a new restaurant or a recipe or a menu or my father or about my love of martinis and wine....
Essentially, my blog is about my Lapband Life
A life that has been changed by a small silicone band filled with saline.
A life that has been taken up a notch and brought to life simply by having it inserted into my body.
You see--before I had my Lapband---even though I loved cooking and fashion and decorating and going out and all those same things I love today---I would sort of hide those things for fear that people would judge me--"look at that fat girl--she's always eating, no wonder she is so fat", "look at that fat girl, if she loved fashion so much, she would lose weight so she would look good", "look at that fat girl, if she didn't spend so much time decorating her house, she would have time to exercise". 
Now, I feel safe that I can share my love of all things with the world without fear of being judged. 
I know, I silly of me.
I admit it....with all of my heart and soul....those words I shared with you are true. 
I lived in fear of being judged in everything by the size of my body.
Sure, I admit it--with the weight loss also came a brand new sense of confidence that I wish I would have had 115 pounds ago.  Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda. 

So,  yes, I am not talking daily about getting stuck or PBing or what to eat or what not to eat or losing weight or getting enough protein or any of those things that I talked about early on in my Lapband Life.  Although all of those things still exist in my world--they are as common as brushing my teeth and buying new shoes. 
(and, btw.....I had a major shoe shopping haul this past weekend.....and I mean MAJOR.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Meet the culprits........

 They even LOOK GUILTY! 

We had a busy, food-filled weekend here in Judiland.
As we wrap up the final days of Vince being foot loose and fancy free and living here with us, everything  has been thrust into triple high gear.
This past weekend, some friends from his undergrad days came into town and stayed with us.
Although we knew they would keep themselves busy enough with the local bar scene,  we couldn't help but throw together some major eat-a-thons.....even 20-somethings gotta eat....especially when they are consuming so much beer and watching so much football.
So, last week, I put my menu planning cap on, made several grocery runs and came up with an easy and relaxed Happy Hour for the college games on Saturday, a yummy brunch buffet for the early  Sunday NFL games, a fun-filled snack spread for the Steeler game and a comforting dinner for the later games.....
Because I found myself in the kitchen so much, I was not distracted by all of the yummy foods.
Until I started cleaning up the snack spread. 
Right there.....starring me in the face was this creamy cheddar ranch bacon dip and those olive oil potato chips.
Okay, so I was hungry.  And, they were there.....
And, I was hungry.
And, they were there.
Damn it was an amazing combination.
So amazing that I couldn't even tell you what dinner tasted like.

Hello Monday......

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Take comfort!

There's no place like the COMFORT of home....Pittsburgh PA as seen from Mt. Washington.

 Happy Fall! 

There's a chill in the air.
It's Sunday.
We're entertaining house guests. 
We've got football.
We've got logs for the fire.
And, we've got that obnoxious big TV. 
Time to roll out an easy but yummy comfort food menu.

Autumn Panzanella 

This looks like a lot of work but's super easy. Plus, I double promise you that you will be dreaming about this taste combo all season long!


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 12 cups crust-free cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)*
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt, preferably gray salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons warm water


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh wild mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced celery heart (on the diagonal), plus some chopped leaves
  • 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced onion-soup style
  • 2 ounces baby arugula or spinach leaves
  • Grated Parmesan

For the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over moderate heat and cook until it foams. In a large bowl, pour the butter over the 12 cups cubed bread and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to season all of the bread. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet.
Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Croutons can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container.
*Michael's Notes: I use a serrated knife to remove the crust from day-old bread, then switch to a chef's knife to cut the cubes because it doesn't tear the bread. Also note that I recommend grating the Parmesan finely so that it will stick to the bread better.
For the dressing: Melt the butter in a small skillet over moderately low heat. Add the yellow onion and saute until soft, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the skillet. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add 1/2 cup of the olive oil, then the water. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
For the salad: Heat a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add 1/4 cup olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke, sprinkle in the mushrooms. Don't stir! Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. If you toss them too soon, they will release their liquid and begin to steam. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss the mushrooms, reduce the heat to moderate, and continue to cook until well browned. Stir in the thyme and garlic and cook for about 1 minute to release their fragrance. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the croutons, the mushrooms, and the onion dressing. Toss well to coat. Add the celery, red onion, and arugula or spinach and toss again gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Grate fresh Parmesan on top and serve immediately.

Beef Tenderloin with Port-Balsamic Sauce 
OMG! You could drink this sauce.  If you are feeling a tad bit decadent, finish it off with some heavy cream.  Amazing!
  • 1 cup ruby Port
  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 2 8-ounce beef tenderloin steaks
  • All purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Boil Port and wine in heavy small saucepan until mixture is reduced to 2/3 cup, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Dust with flour; shake off excess. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks; cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to platter (do not clean skillet); tent steaks with foil to keep warm.
Add Port mixture and vinegar to same skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until reduced to sauce consistency, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and whisk just until melted. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer steaks to plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.

Risotto con Parmigiano-Reggiano

The easiest and best risotto on the planet.  Can't go wrong with this.  Keep adding the just makes it better and better!
  • 5 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

Bring broth to boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover saucepan.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion; sauté until very tender but not brown, about 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups warm broth. Boil gently until broth is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add another 1 cup broth; stir until broth is absorbed. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 25 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 cup grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and shaved Parmesan.

Herb-Roasted Onions

If you love gooey carmelized onions like I love gooey carmelized onions...these are an easy alternative.  Throw on some guyere cheese and OMG.....!

  • 2 red onions
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the stem end of each onion and carefully slice off the brown part of the root end, leaving the root intact. Peel the onion. Stand each onion root end up on a cutting board and cut the onion in wedges through the root. Place the wedges in a bowl.
For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the onions and toss well.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a sheet pan, reserving the vinaigrette that remains in the bowl. Bake the onions for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender and browned. Toss the onions once during cooking. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

 Apple Brown Betty

Who knew a dessert could be so easy?  This is autumn in a dish!  Go out and get some vanilla ice cream and serve it over  warm apple brown betty and you will be swooning.....

  • 1 1/2 to 2 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing
  • 8 slices hearty wheat bread, diced
  • 3 apples, preferably Granny Smith, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 1/2 packed cups brown sugar, plus more if needed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular baking dish.
Place half the diced bread in the baking dish, and then sprinkle on half the diced apples, half the brown sugar and half the butter. Repeat with another layer of bread, apples, brown sugar and butter. End by sprinkling 1/2 cup water all over the surface, a spoonful at a time.
Bake, covered in foil, until the apples are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes to brown.

You can thank me later......right now it's time to start cooking!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Countdown to EMPTY NEST Round 2.......

For the past 3 years, my empty nest was a result of having 2 children in college---collegeland and Phdland.   My sorority girl would come home for summers, my Phd boy would not---he would venture home for random weekends and holidays.   So, off and on, my nest would fill and then go empty again and then partially fill and then fully fill and so on and so on.  My home was their home.....for all intents and purposes.  
Then, two months ago, my son the doctor returned home after finishing up all of his scholarly work to await the next step on his journey.  My nest was fully filled---two kids and all of their stuff and all of their comings and goings.  Once again, life was bustling.  Then, my sorority girl headed back to school--leaving the house partially filled again.
 Looking back---it's all a bit blurry to me right now.....
To be honest---having my son home full time after 9 years of not having him home full time (due to schooling) has been a true joy.  And I'm not just saying that because it's his birthday today. 
But, that's all going to change.....permanently. 
Remember that little secret mission road trip I took last weekend?
Well, it was a house hunting trip with my son the doctor.
So, as of October 5, my house will no longer be his permanent address.
Although it will always be his home.  
After years and years of hard work and dedication, he is embarking on his life's work.
We are so very very proud of him for what's done...but mostly for who he has become.
And, I'm not just saying that because it's his birthday today.
Although I've always known that the type of work that he does would probably not make it easy for him to stay in Pittsburgh, I had always secretly held out hope that somehow, someway, that would change.
But, it didn't.
Fortunately, the choice that he made is a little bit closer to home than where he could have gone.
So, for that, I am thankful.

Now, I'm going to let you in on a little secret---if I thought these past few weeks were crazy busy, I will probably drop over from exhaustion with what's got to happen over the next few weeks.....

But, for now, I am just going to enjoy this special day with the smart, funny and cute kid who changed my life 27 years ago......

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

And so that was summer.......

I guess I'll have to wait until next year to wear that bikini......

 Ask anyone and they will probably tell you that summer was over a few weeks ago.
Schools open up, labor day comes, football starts and just like's over. 

Calendar-wise, summer is not over!
We are in the final hours of summer.
According to the calendar, that is. 
But, can't you just feel that it's over?  
Come Saturday, summer will  really be OVER.
The calendar will even confirm it.  
Summer will be in the rear view mirror and Autumn will be in our laps.
This past weekend, on our secret mission road trip, I could feel that we were on the cusp of the seasons changing.....the trees were not as vibrant green as they were earlier in the season and many of the tree tops were tinged in their autumn colors.
As much as I adore this time of year, seeing and feeling the season change as we traveled the roads on our secret mission was bittersweet.
For my secret mission was part of a wonderous journey that started almost 27 years ago.
Yes, that's a hint....
Summer fades each year and autumn takes it's place.
The cycle of life.
Summer turns to Fall.
Children grow and leave their mothers.
The calendar agrees this time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


What's the deal with that?

AMAZING Eggplant Caprese I had at a wonderful little wine bistro on my secret mission this past weekend!

I'm not sure if it's the approaching cold weather that's messing with me but lately or the non stop treadmill that has been my life for the past few weeks but DAMN,  I am HUNGRY.
As in....I could eat 1 pound of pasta hungry....
The funny thing is that as HUNGRY as I am.....when I finally do sit down to eat something, I still have decent restriction in my band so I can't really eat 1 pound of pasta!  That's the good news.
The bad news is that I am spending a whole lot of mental energy thinking about being hungry and wondering what I should eat.  And, the next piece of bad news is that I am wasting a hell of a lot of money on thinking I could eat a boat load of food.  
The past few weeks have been a real whirlwind of activity and stress and non stop goings on.
It hasn't been bad stuff but it's been enough stuff to keep me completely occupied and running about morning, noon and night. 
With all of that comes lots of eating out at restaurants or depending on my son the doctor to cook meals.  What that means is that I've been ordering off of menus or eating the fab gourmet foods that my son whips together.   What that also means is that I'm wasting entirely too much good and pricey food.....
Case in point---this past Friday night, we had a pre-secret-mission celebratory dinner at one our favorite casual-type restaurants.  This particular place is about a one hour drive from my office---which gave me a lot of time to think about being hungry.    As we sat at the bar having our pre-dinner cocktail, the beautiful smells of the wonderful food just overtook me.  I was hungrier than ever, ever, ever. 
My hunger combined with my Hendrick's martini "looseness" provided the perfect storm for me to order the special of the day......Talapia Piccata with roasted asparagus and lemon risotto served with an autumn salad and peppered cornbread.  And, a glass of Frenzy Sauvignon Blanc.  Carmen and Vince both questioned my choice---ever since I got my lapband, I NEVER order an entire meal....ever.  But, I was adamant (and possibly a little bit tipsy).....I was STARVING! 
 I was not going to be a cheap date tonight boys!
No, instead, I was a wasteful date.  

The hungrier-than-ever trend continued the entire weekend and well into yesterday.
Perhaps all of the secret things going on here in Judiland have me secretly wanting to EAT!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Survival of the fittest......

Somehow, I managed to survive this past week.
And, thankfully, I did not kill anyone in the process.........
 Once again, I thank my amazing energizer bunny team mates, my trusty Danskos (only the world's best shoes when you are working non stop for 24/7...on your feet!)  and last but not least.... my beloved Lapband!  . 
Our heart is in the work.........

Now,  in mere moments, I'm heading on a SECRET MISSION ROAD TRIP....
To this place.....
I would tell you where I'm going but then I'd have to kill you. 
Yeah, it's a super duper SECRET MISSION.....
It's so secret that I can't even tell you what shoes I will be wearing.....

Friday, September 7, 2012

They must be referring to the weekend.......


Thursday, September 6, 2012

'Tis the Season

Did I mention that I am NOT a fan of September?
If not, I'm telling you NOW.
I am not a fan of September.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Will the real Judi please sit down!

Here in Judiland, we are just coming off a little STAYCATION and kicking things in gear for a busy day of bidding farewell to summer with a pool party and picnic at my sister's. 
Yes, that means I'm in the kitchen whipping up some poolside yumminess......

Bruschetta with Shrimp, Tarragon and Arugula

Zucchini Fritters  with Pesto Aioli (mix homemade or good quality jarred pesto with olive oil mayo, add a handful of good quality parm cheese, a few squeezes of lemon juice) 


 Anyway.....back to the "Will the real Judi please sit down!" part of this posting.....I always manage to get sidetracked by food, recipes and menus....

Our little staycation was my way of soothing myself from my feelings of deprivation from not doing our usual extended Labor Day weekend to the party islands and the wineries and the romantic little inn and one of our favorite restaurants. 
I was very pouty.
To be more accurate-- I was a downright bitchy martyr  broken hearted woman.
So, I hatched a little plan to turn at least a portion of the weekend into a vacation here in  our own hometown.  With less than 48 hours to deal with, I figured out a few of our favorite in-town things to do that would sort of mimic some of what we enjoy each year on our Labor Day weekend trip.  Our first order of business was meeting up. Since Carmen was attending an executive meeting retreat out of state and would be driving into town a bit later in the evening, I picked a little brasserie that also had an impressive cocktail menu.   Since this little place is also known for it's food and atmosphere, I made reservations. I specifically asked for one of their little bottle service tables that are hidden behind the main area.  When I arrived, the place was bustling, people were waiting for tables both inside near the reception station and outside on their darling little stone patio.  Despite the crowd, the vibe was very summer kickback.  It was exactly what I was looking for.   Carmen had texted from the road that he was running a bit behind schedule but was sure he would make it in time for our 9 pm reservation.   Since I had some time to spare, I let the hostess know I was there and headed to the little indoor-outdoor bar for a drink. People were languishing at the bar, candles and torches were flickering, music was humming in the background and the bartenders were cute.   As I tucked myself into my barstool, I was happy and at peace....
As my reservation time approached, I made my way back to the hostess to see if I had time for another drink at the bar or if our table was ready.  Carmen had called to let me know he was about 15 minutes away....
ME:  "How long until the table for Judi is ready?" 
HOSTESS:  "Judi has been seated." 
ME:  "No, I am Judi."
HOSTESS:  "Oh. Judi.  Bottle service table for 2 at 9 pm.  They have been seated."
ME:  "I am Judi.  That is my reservation.  I told the hostess when I came in that I was going to the      bar. "
HOSTESS:  "I am sorry, they were right here when I called out your name and they said they were Judi"
ME:  "I am Judi.  My reservation is for 9.  It is only 8:50.  How long ago did they get seated?"
HOSTESS:  "Just a few minutes ago.  Let me see what I can do"
ME:  "Do you have another bottle service table?"
ME:  "Well, I am Judi and that is my reservation."
HOSTESS:  "Yes, let me see what I can do"
After a few moments.....
HOSTESS:  "I am so sorry, we seem to have given your table to someone who said they were Judi."
ME:  "What should I do?"
HOSTESS:  "The manager is working on it....."
A few moments later, I was led to a corner bottle service table.  As we made our way back, I spied  the manger next to another corner bottle service table with a  couple hastily  gathering their things....
Were they the Judi impersonators?
A woman carrying a Prada bag with a pair of Jimmy Choos on, wearing a size 4 LBD was impersonating me....
I guess I can't blame her.