Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weight Loss Progress-Pictures (2010 vs 2011)

This is me. Last year (2010) I was at my heaviest weight EVER and hated the way I looked. This year (2011), I am happy to say that I am around 40 pounds lighter and still working to lose more weight. These pictures show about a 20-30 pound difference. They were taken at different times during the year so it varies a little bit. I am going to track my food intake everyday (hopefully), to track my exercise, and to track my weight LOSS on this blog and on my tumblr! I am 15 pounds away from my goal weight and I can’t wait to reach it!!

I will be posting my daily calorie intake in one batch post once a week. I am updating my tumblr daily and keep track at myfitnesspal.com.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Sorry, I haven't posted in awhile. I have been busy with school. I am taking finals today and tomorrow and am taking a quick break from studying to update my blog! After finals are over, I have some time off of school and I am hoping to make posts about several recipes I have been making and enjoying and also about my weight loss journey! Please stay tuned and look for those posts in the coming weeks! Take care!

P.S. I forgot to mention, I have opened a new tumblr - http://cheryllosesweight.tumblr.com - and I will try to track my daily food intake/exercise and post pictures. I already have some before-and-after pictures up. I am very proud of the weight that I have lost and am still trying to lose more. :)

P.P.S. I am also going to be posting everything from the above tumblr to this website for now since this blog is about my life and right now weight loss is a big part of it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Engagement Pictures!

These were taken by the wonderful Nicole! Her photography business facebook page is here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Creamy Tomato and Basil Bisque Recipe

I've had really good tomato basil bisque before, I hope this is just as good! I will try at home soon and report back...


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery rib, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unbleached flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans (14.5 ounce size) tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons basil
1/4 cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste
croutons and fresh parmesan cheese for topping


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes. Stir in flour over low heat. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves and basil; bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

In a blender, carefully puree half the soup. Return to saucepan, stir in cream and season with salt and pepper.

Top with croutons or freshly grated parmesan cheese.


158 calories, 10 grams fat, 14 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams proteinper serving.

Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

This recipe from CDKitchen for Creamy Tomato and Basil Bisque serves/makes 6

Veggie Med Sandwich Recipe (Noodles & Company)

You can really put your own spin on this sandwich! There's no wrong way to make it!

Veggie Med Sandwich Recipe
Serves 4-6

1 package of your favorite flatbread
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 Portobello mushroom cap (gills removed)
1 red pepper
1 tablespoon white wine (your choice)
1 heirloom tomato
1 cup fresh organic baby spinach leaves
½ cup low fat yogurt
2 tablespoon low fat mayo
2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
1/2 lemon (squeezed)
1 cucumber (deseeded)
4 tablespoon feta cheese
Fresh cilantro to garnish

Chop garlic, slice onions, mushrooms and slice the peppers. Set aside.
Coarsely chop ½ of the cucumber and tomato. Set aside.
For the sauce: Combine the yogurt, mayo, the juice of ½ of a lemon squeezed, 1 clove of fresh garlic and the Sriracha sauce. Whisk and set aside.
Sautee over medium heat: Peppers, onions, garlic, white wine, mushrooms until lightly golden. Add spinach to wilt.
Toast or grill the flatbread to warm.
Place sautee mixture onto flatbread.
Add 1 tablespoon of sauce. Garnish with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, and cilantro.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Freezing Soup in Silicone Muffin Pan!

Hi, everyone! I just wanted to make a quick post about this genius idea!!

I found this idea at Pinterest.com and it was originally posted at themommyincharge.com. Put soup in a silicone muffin pan for the freezer! After they were frozen, I transported them to a square tupperware for easier storage. I am pretty sure you can do this with any soup. I tried it with homemade "chicken" noodle soup and homemade minestrone and it worked like a dream! I think the original poster used this idea for toddler sized servings. I found this is great even for an adult! I just pull out a few and heat them up in a small bowl or mug and it is just perfect! That way I don't have to thaw the whole tupperware every time I want some soup out of the freezer.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Latest Internet Obsessions:




I know, I know...neither of these websites are new. It just took me awhile to get into them. AND AM I EVER INTO THEM. I am wasting all of my time.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blankets For Sale - Etsy

I listed some cozy fleece blankets for sale on my etsy shop (just in time for chilly weather)! And I still have some purses for sale! I can also do custom blankets! I can usually find most pro and college sports teams-just ask and I’ll give you a quote! Licensed fabric cost will be a bit higher. Thanks for looking
(I am only shipping within the United States right now. Sorry for any inconvenience.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day weekend in the UP - Pictures!

Here are a few pictures from over the weekend:

And here are the rest: Labor Day weekend in the UP

It was really fun. We did a lot of stuff outdoors, like boating on a lake and building campfires. It was a bit chilly, but I liked it a lot. Can't wait to go back!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

I finished all of my homework for the weekend already. My hard work paid off this week! I'm doing really well in all of my classes so far!

Heading to the U.P. for Labor Day weekend this afternoon! No phone or 3G there, so I'll be back Monday! Have a fun & safe weekend, everyone!

I plan on taking a lot of pictures, so look for that post when I return!! :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Cat's Tumor

I want to post this blog entry because when my cat got her tumor, I searched all over the internet for someone with a similar situation and couldn't find anything. I want this to be here for people to find if they need it.

We noticed a small bump on my cat's lip in early July. It was worrisome and we didn't know what it was. I posted some pictures on the internet in hopes that someone would know something about it.

I got no response and the bump grew a bit. We continued to worry, and finally took her to the vet. The vet said that she had not seen anything like this and she suggested we have it removed and tested. The procedure was a bit expensive and we are fairly poor right now, so we decided to give it some time to see if it would go away.

It didn't go away, and on August 16th we took her in to have the growth surgically removed. The surgery went well. We had to drop her off and leave her all day. Thankfully the vet is very close to my apartment. They told us we could pick her up at 3:30 and we were there before that waiting for her. The procedure costed $371 total (in the U.S.). That included updating her shots. This is how it was broken down:

  • $44.85 for pre-surgical screen
  • $12.50 for outpatient hospitalization
  • $11.75 for acepromazine/atropine
  • $21.00 for valium/ketamine
  • $12.50 for (10) isoflurane gas anesthesia
  • $25 (5) mass excision
  • $9.00 prep/pack
  • $11.00 operating room disposables
  • $6.50 suture material 4-0 nylon
  • $105.20 histopath (1-2 tissues)
  • $55.00 laser - level 2
  • $29.95 FVRPC-C Annual (Distemper)
  • $26.75 Rabies (3 yr)
  • She also got her nails clipped for free, which was an $11.75 discount


She was still doped up from the anesthesia and pain meds. Her eyes were so glossy and she just wanted to sleep. Poor baby. She got stitches in the area where the growth was removed and we opted to not have a cone put on her. She probably needed one, but we couldn't do that to her. Plus she'd have to keep it on for two weeks.


Her incision continued to heal and she slowly got her old attitude back. The first couple of days she was very groggy and slept a lot. She never lost her apetite, though, and would play for little increments of time here and there. We got a call from the surgeon two days after the surgery. He told us that the pathologist said it was a slow growth neural tissue tumor or a nerve sheath tumor. The surgeon questioned that finding, though. He said that when he removed it he thought it would be something else because of the fact that it sectioned itself off so nicely from the healthy tissue. Either way, he said he was really positive that he removed the whole thing. We asked what could happen if he missed some and he said at worst it grow back and could go deeper. If it returns and isn't addressed, it could screw up her jaw functionality by affecting the nerves.


The incision scabbed over and looked pretty gross for a couple of days! It did fall off (or she scratched it off).....and she lost a couple of stitches along the way as well.


On August 29th, I took her to have her stitches removed. She only had one left. She was a little feisty when the vet removed the stitches, and it took three of us to hold her still!

Now her stitches are gone and she is healing nicely. The vet thinks he removed the whole tumor, but if we ever see anything growing back, we have to take her back in immediately. Her attitude is back and she is acting completely normal. We are very happy with the results and, as long as the tumor doesn't return, she is going to be okay! :)

**EDIT (3/11/12): The tumor returned in December, and we got it removed again in January. Spirit is doing well again and we hope that is the last time we see that tumor. Here is the post about that: My Cat's Tumor Pt. 2

Friday, August 26, 2011

Recipe: Pasta Fresca (like Noodles & Co.)

Here is the recipe for Pasta Fresca like the Noodles & Co. dish!

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cup pre-cooked farfalle pasta (I used mostaccioli)
1/4 cup cubed roma tomato
1 Tbsp diced red onion
2 dashes kosher salt & cracked pepper
1 oz baby fresh spinach
parmesan cheese

Fresca Sauce:
(I halved all of this because this makes a ton of sauce!)
1/4 cup fresh chopped garlic
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sweet white wine
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all and set aside for later.

In a hot sauté pan, add olive oil, pre-cooked noodles, tomatoes, onions, salt & pepper. Sear noodles, stirring occasionally, until hot. Add spinach and fresca sauce. Toss to combine. Top with parmesan cheese.

Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue & Educational Center

Just a Note...

I just wanted to note that I have combined my two blogs and will from now on only be posting in this blog, cherylinspace. I will leave the other blog up, at least for awhile, so that people can update their bookmarks. I will eventually delete it. Thanks!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Laundry Day=fuzzy Hello Kitty shorts. My question is, why doesn't everyday=fuzzy Hello Kitty shorts?

Wedding Planning (3 weeks since engagement)

Hi, all! I just wanted to do a quick update as to what I have checked off my wedding planning checklist:

  • I booked a hall in my hometown for my ceremony and reception. I am having an extremely small ceremony so we decided it would be easiest to do it in the same place as the reception, which will be quite a bit bigger. My wedding date is September 22, 2012. Can't wait!
  • We have decided upon our wedding party and everyone has agreed to join us on our day. We also asked Ian's brother to be minister at our ceremony. I am sure he will do a beautiful job and we are looking forward to him doing this for us.
  • I have my colors that I want picked out and they are going to be very pretty.

    That's all I have done so far! We are working on figuring out what we want for a meal, who will be caterer, a DJ, and a photographer. I'd just like to get this few big things set up and knocked off my list right away so I know we are booked and set. I will update often with my progress. :D

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Simply Spray Tie Dye Review

    Hello, all! I wanted to review and show you how a tie dying experiment of mine turned out. I really have been loving the look of tie dye as of late. I wanted to sport a tie dye shirt to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2, so I decided to make a shirt with the Deathly Hallows symbol on it.

    First, I bought some reasonably priced t-shirts (I don't advocate Walmart AT ALL, but I bought mine there. I'm poor. They were the O.P. brand and only a few dollars. I got a ribbed tank top as well, Miley Cyrus brand. All in white). Then, I cut out the symbol I wanted on some contact paper. The stuff I used was definitely an experiment. I only used it because my mom had some on hand. It is actually the stuff that is used to cover books. It's just a clear thin sheet that is sticky on the back. Anyway, I cut out my shapes and stuck them on the shirts. I set a book on top so that it set, but I don't think that step was necessary. I think you could use any kind of adhesive or tape or sticky-backed vinyl. Then, I took the shirts outside and laid them on the grass. I put a piece of cardboard in the shirt, but it really didn't make much of a difference because it kept sliding out of place. I scrunched up the shirt and sprayed Simply Spray on them in swooshing motions. Then I flattened it out, scrunched it again, and sprayed again with a different color. I used blue and black and a silver sparkle on top. I let them dry for several hours and then I pulled the tape off. This is how they turned out:

    On the clothesline drying before I pulled the tape off.

    Me wearing the Deathly Hallows tie dye t-shirt

    Me wearing the Deathly Hallows tie dye tank top
    Me wearing my t-shirt the night of the midnight premiere!

    I think they are great! I wear them all the time. I also made a couple more with no symbols. Here is what one looks like:

    Tie dye t-shirt
    There is also another one, but I will have to post a picture of that later because it is in the laundry right now. :P

    I also made one for Ian. I did this one in green and black and put the dark mark on it. He hasn't worn it yet.

    Dark Mark tie dye t-shirt

    So I am pretty happy with the results! The spray I used is called Simply Spray and can be found here. I bought mine at Michael's.

    Simply Spray

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Special Announcement!

    Thursday, July 14, 2011 was literally the best day of my life. My boyfriend of 5.5 years proposed to me on the night of the last Harry Potter movie premiere!!!!!

    We went out for a nice dinner at Cafe La Bellitalia. It was our first time there and it was delicious. We came home and were planning on relaxing for a bit before we headed out to see the midnight premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at Sundance Cinemas. Ian called me upstairs and had one of our favorite Bowie songs, Blackout, playing in the background. He called me into our dressing room, and told me he was going to "make me an offer I couldn't refuse" (we love The Godfather). He then quickly dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. I was in shock. Of course I said yes and proceeded to smooch him. Then I called my family and he called his. The night was wonderful and I am so happy.

    The movie was also wonderful. I dressed up in my Gryffindor scarf and all of my Harry Potter related accessories. We got to the theater an hour early and it was packed. The reason we chose Sundance is because you can choose your seats upon buying the ticket and they serve Harry Potter related drinks! I had a lovely 21+ Butterbeer and Ian had a Polyjuice Potion shake. :) 

    As I said, the movie was wonderful. I was very tired when it was over. It was a perfect ending to the perfect night!!

    Friday, July 8, 2011


    So, recently my hopefully-someday-to-be-sis-in-law Shelley told me all about scrunchies!! I used to LOVE scrunchies when I was a kid! She told me that they are great for women with fine hair (ME) because they don't damage the hair as easily as rubber bands or elastic bands. So, naturally, as soon as I heard this I went out and bought a pack of scrunchies. I love them. They are my new favorite thing. I don't care if they seem dated, it is worth it to be able to wear a ponytail without worrying about my hair breaking!

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Samsung Mesmerize - US Cellular - EE19 Update

    I was having major issues with this update, now it is fixed! First video is me explaining my problem. Second video is how I fixed it! Thanks for watching!

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    T-Shirt Cutting

    Never tried this before. It is pretty cool! T-shirts were on sale for $2.50 at Michael's so I thought I would experiment.

    Here is the finished product:

    It's hard to get any homework done with this vicious beast constantly stealing my pen!

    vlog 7.4.11

    In which I discus:
    -My new and old blogs
    -Weight Loss Update (28 pounds lost to date)
    -Image of my current body
    -Possible tattoo?

    vlog 7.4.11

    In which I discus:
    -My new and old blogs
    -Weight Loss Update (28 pounds lost to date)
    -Image of my current body
    -Possible tattoo?

    My Excercise DVD Collection

    I probably have a pretty big collection of exercise DVDs compared to most. You might even call me an Exercise DVD Junkie. That's okay because I love having a variety. It makes it so I don't get bored with doing the same thing over and over. I am going to describe to you how each of the DVDs in my collection has worked for me. I have lost 28 pounds in the last year and have done a variety of exercises and kept my eating portions under control to achieve that.

    • Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred: This DVD is no joke. I completed the full 30 days (every day!) and then kept up with it for awhile (a few days a week). I really think this dvd is what kicked my metabolism into gear. Even after I stopped doing this daily, I was losing weight a lot easier. There are 3 levels and you are to do each for 10 days, or until you feel comfortable moving on. The first level is the easiest and the third level is the hardest. Jillian guides you through her 3-2-1 Interval System (3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, and 1 minute abs and you do each 3 times per level). It is a really hard routine and I was REALLY sore every day. I thought the results were good and it is only about a 20 minute workout! The only problem I had with this DVD is it gets repetitive doing the same exercises for 10 days in a row and I don't really like Jillian.
    • Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown: I really like this one. Unfortunately, I didn't stick to it for very long. It is a new take on yoga, combining yoga with repetitive movement to help burn calories. There are two 30 minute levels with a warm up and a cool down. Level 2 is more intense than level 1. I felt really good after doing these workouts. It stretched me out really well. I like that it combines movement because you can really feel your muscles working (and burning!)
    • The Biggest Loser Boot Camp: I have to admit, I did not stick to this one very long. I am not sure why, though, because I think it was a good workout. This is a 6-8 week program that helps you lose weight one level at a time. There are three levels and a warm up and a cool down. You start out just doing level 1, and then you add on 2 and then 3 once you are ready to move on. I really felt the burn with this and I hope to do this one and stick to it for the full 6-8 weeks someday. Once I do, I will come back and update this post.
    • Turbo Jam: I really like turbo jam. It is fun and upbeat. It is basically like kick boxing mixed with dance. You really work every part of your body. Charlene Johnson guides you through the moves and I think she is really motivating and nice. This DVD includes Learn & Burn, 20 minute workout, and turbo sculpt. I did not do Learn & Burn much because it is just a tutorial. The 20 minute workout is an intense cardio workout. Turbo sculpt is more for helping your problem areas. They both are pretty effective!
    • Zumba Fitness: I spent a lot of money buying this box set. I think it was totally worth it. I really enjoy Zumba, and even though I am embarrassed and have to close all my blinds so that no one can see me do this, it is a really great workout. The DVDs in this set include Zumba Fitness Basics, Zumba Fitness 20-Minute Express, Zumba Fitness Cardio Party, and Zumba Fitness Sculpt & Tone. I have only used the Basics a few times as it is just the learning portion. The 20 minute express is good if you don't have a lot of time but want to burn a lot of calories. The two I use most are Cardio Party and Sculpt & Tone. Cardio Party is an intense cardio workout that lasts around 50 minutes, including a cool down. It is great and upbeat and, although I think Pedro is a bit of a creep, I really love it. It keeps you moving and shaking the whole time and burns a ton of calories. Sculpt & Tone is also great. It incorporates more cardio than I thought it would, but really works each part of your body. It is also about 50 minutes long including a cool down. I also have a pair of maracas that are used as weights, which is a fun touch. I really love Zumba and have been using it a lot lately!
    • Billy Blanks Tae Bo (This Is Tae Bo): This is another great DVD. It includes a tutorial (which I have only used once) and an hour long workout. I have also been doing this one a lot lately. You burn a ton of calories and it is pretty fun! Billy Blanks has quite a personality and is very motivating. Be prepared to wake up sore the next day with this one!
    • Yoga For Beginners: I must admit, I have not used this one much. I love yoga but find this DVD to be a bit slow paced and a little *too* easy. It is a good resource to learn basic moves and a good way to stretch out your body, though.
    • Shake Weight: This is something I bought because I thought it was funny, and have never really used. I think I will start using it, though, because the couple of times I tried it, I really felt the burn in my arms. My arms are one of my problem areas. I will update this with my results when I start using it.
    • Circuit Hoop: I have never used this DVD, but have used my weighted hula hoop. This is something else I will have to try more regularly and update later. The only problem I have with weighted hula hoops is that they hurt to use and bruise my stomach and hips. Maybe it is something that gets better with time. I think it would be a great workout if I kept up with it.
    • Pilates Bodyband Kit: This is very old and is a VHS. I don't use it often because I hate using VHS, but it is a really cool workout. It is not very intense, but you can really tell you are working different areas of your body, especially legs, abs, and arms. This is something I only use once in awhile. I would love to replace the kit with something newer and in DVD form, and if I saw it in the store I would probably buy it.
    • Wii Fit (not pictured): I think Wii Fit is really fun! I go in spurts with this one, I will use it regularly for awhile and then not at all for awhile. I like that you can track you weight on it, but I have carpeting and think that it affects the accuracy. The strength and yoga moves are fun but can be pretty intense! I think all other activities are more game-like and are fun but maybe not as effective as the strength and yoga.

    My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    3/4 cup white sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    1 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips or chunks, or half chips and half chopped nuts (about 2 cups)

    Evenly position 2 racks in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave on medium power until melted. Or melt butter in a small saucepan. Cool slightly. Whisk the sugars, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon, taking care not to over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks and nuts, if using. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough into the prepared baking sheets. Wet hands slightly and roll the dough into balls. Space the balls about 2 inches apart on the pans. Bake until the cookies are golden but still soft in the center, 12 to 16 minutes, depending on how chewy or crunchy you like your cookies. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a rack to cool. *If you only have one baking sheet, let cool completely between batches.

    Makes 30 (2.5) inch cookies
    Prep time 35 minutes

    **Put in a tightly sealed container after they have cooled completely with a piece of bread if you want to keep them moist and chewy

    **You can freeze these to make ahead: Put the sheet with the raw balls of dough into the freezer for an hour. Then transfer the balls to plastic bags and freeze for up to 2 months, baking them straight from the freezer (in the oven or toaster oven) whenever you want them.

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Camped out in the living room last night because the a/c wasn't cooling the upstairs

    Purse soon-to-be for sale!

    Latest purse. I'm going to sell it even though I love it and wanna keep it! I'm going to attempt to make a matching billfold and list them together on my etsy - catcraftorium within next couple weeks. Stay tuned :)