Saturday, January 5, 2013

~The "Blow-Fish Effect"~

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or healthcare professional; the statements below are my personal opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt!

Let's get right down to the nitty gritty, shall we?!

This past Wednesday I lost some of my "wisdom" and got this little sucker pried out of my jaw. It was an emergency extraction; I had suddenly lost the ability to eat solids because this guy was sticking me in some tendon and I couldn't open my mouth anymore. Mr. "Mega-tooth" got ripped out of my jaw right before the dentist office closed on Wednesday and I got scheduled to rid my mouth of my remaining "wisdom carriers" next Friday! Yipee!

I couldn't resist taking a picture of my tooth. Quite a beauty, don't you think?!

So why am I boring you with dental details? Well let me give you a little background story:

Apparently I don't fare well with pain killers. I learned this after my ACL-surgery a couple years ago. After getting my knee cut open, my Doctor wrote me a prescription for OxyCotin and Percocet. While the meds knocked me right out, the side effects were rather unpleasant and I broke out in hives and pimples almost immediately. I realized something wasn't ok, so I got off the meds and switched to 800mg of Ibuprofen every 6-8h per my Doctor's recommendation. During my recovery (and increased Ibuprofen intake) I gained a lot of weight which I assumed had to do with my lack of exercise.

Here's where the tooth story comes in; are you ready?!

This past Wednesday, after the tooth extraction,  my dentist wanted to put me on some high dosage stuff (to make me feel better after I started looking like Alvin's twin brother). I told him about my past reaction to painkiller "big wigs", so he presented me with a less aggressive option called "Ibuprofen".

You know what happened next? Within 48h I gained a whopping 8 pounds!

I went from looking like this....

To this...

Good heavens! After reflecting on everything I had eaten in the last 48h since my surgery, taking into account my caloric and fluid intake, I came to the conclusion that such an enormous weight gain didn't make any sense. The only obvious change was my Ibuprofen intake (are you starting to notice a common theme here...?!) 

I then consulted my dear friend, the all-knowing "Mr. Google", to see if he had anything helpful to say about my problem. I combined the words "Ibuprofen and weight gain" in my glorious search-engine and guess what popped up? A whole lot! Read more here!

After receiving confirmation that Ibuprofen has been linked to water retention in the past, I made a quick inventory of my life and realized there were other occasions where I'd gained enormous amounts of weight seemingly out of nowhere:

-When I had Pneumonia
-Before my wedding, when I was suffering from muscle cramps
-During my special "lady days"
-After my knee surgery
-Whenever I have a headache

...and you just wouldn't believe what I was taking during those times:

Ibuprofen, Motrin or Advil

Conclusion: My body apparently sees pain-killers as a cue to immediately retain vast amounts of water. I have a strange feeling I'm not alone, so maybe next time you stand on the scale and notice you could suddenly join the "sumo-ringer world series", you may want to think about the pills you've been consuming. I'm just saying...

Well, there you have it. I plan on reporting back to you after 48h of "Ibuprofen-free life" and will let you know if that won't reverse my currently very bloated self to something more "normal" looking. I sure hope so!

Wella aka "The Blow-Fish"

-Total weight lost in 12h (Ibuprofen free): 5lbs!!
-Total weight lost in 48h (Ibuprofen free): 8lbs :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

~New Year's Eve Shenanigans~

I know this may come as a shock to many of you, but contrary to common belief, Justin and I aren't glow-stick-waving-party-animals. There, I finally said it! :) We also aren't huge on celebrating New Year's Eve (or staying up until 00:00hrs for that matter), so this year we decided to do a low-key gathering at our cozy Alaska home, in the company of our good friends, John & Lisa.
We started out the night by watching the fireworks at our local church and spent the rest of the evening at home enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by the guys (steaks, mashed potatoes and salad..YUM!), played some fun card games (courtesy of our cousin, Joe), watched old movies and the like.
Then the men went off to do "guy things", so Lisa and I decided to try out a new Cinnamon Roll recipe from one of my favorite Cooking blogs.
We ended up filling a whopping SIX pans with delicious, sweet, moist, mouth watering rolls that we (didn't all eat at once :) but instead divided up and threw  in the freezer for a lazy Sunday-morning.

And here's what it all looked like:
Oh, I should probably mention that I wasn't able to take pictures of us making the dough because of the sinful amount of butter and sugar involved; but if you want to see a step-by-step "how-to", go here.

Our rolls pre-icing

 ...and after the river of sugar was added...

Finally, the finished product:
How about a close-up? Mmmmmmh!

We had a few of these little guys for breakfast the next day; I can't think of a better way to start the New Year, can you?
Wishing you a wonderful 2013 full of magical moments and abudant blessings!

Justin & Wella :)
Ps: So now the big question: What did YOU do for your New Year's eve?
(Post a comment and share the details; we would love to hear about it!)


Thursday, December 27, 2012

~A pie made in heaven~

Pecan Pie is hands-down my favorite winter dessert in the world; that being said, I haven't actually baked one before. Up until today I was convinced that Angels in heaven were the only ones able to create this dessert, because it is just SO scrumdiddlyumptious and out of this world. I also hadn't actually met a human being who could tell the tale of personally baking a pecan pie, so I was convinced that my theory must be true.
Anyway, something about today was different, magic was in the air, so when my feet hit the carpet after rolling out of bed I knew it was time to BAKE!
Without further ado I rolled up my pyjama sleeves, armed myself with a cute flowery apron and went to town:

Turns out, baking a pecan pie is quite simple actually and Angel wings are not a requirement :-). Mr. Piggy decided he wanted to help out as well..
Pie pre-oven. Mmmmmh....
1h and 10min later....

Finished product, served with a dollop of whipped cream...mmmh!

Is your mouth watering yet?
In case you wish to bake this piece of heaven, here's what you need:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla and nuts.
  3. Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until done.
  4. Cut a slice, squirt some whipped cream on top and voila! You just created the most delicious dish in the world :)
Love, Wella :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

~Christmas at the "Last Frontier"~

Our plan was to send out X-mas cards in a timely manner this year, but you can probably tell by the stack of cards sitting on our coffee table (and the lack thereof in your mailbox), that these little guys will be "Spring cards" instead.

We didn't want to leave you entirely card-less, so we would like to give you a "BLARG" (Blog-card) instead.
Dear Family and Friends,
Justin and I would like to wish you all a very Merry X-mas and all the best for 2013!
Justin & Wella :)
Ps: Here is how Alaska-folk celebrates X-mas.
Our Wildlife likes getting in on all the fun...
And let's not forget our annual Alaskan 25ft "Snowzilla" :-)
Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

~Mashed Potatoes at Midnight~

One of the things I love doing most when I'm not held to a specific schedule or timeline is staying up late and baking!

It always makes me feel so happy...kind of like this moment:

Anyway, Justin and I are hosting an early X-mas dinner tomorrow for some of our friends. Everyone is bringing a specialty dish to the potluck and we'll be providing a couple sides as well:

Appetizer: Seven-layer-taco-dip
Main dish: Chicken-Pot-Pie and Mashed Potatoes
Dessert: Rum Balls, Brownie bites and Shortbread cookies
Drink: Eggnog

Do not despair, combined with everyone else's dishes, these food choices will actually make sense :-).

I just finished making my first ever batch of Eggnog and am now about to finalize the Mashed Potatoes (I would like to credit my wonderful helper and husband for peeling the 5lbs of potatoes for me). I discovered the recipe for this fluffiness on one of my favorite cooking websites (you should check it out) :).

I would also like to note that I just experienced a cyber-space-breakthrough and figured out (by accident) how to add links to my blog posts *gasp*. Now, if you run your cursor over any of the dishes I mentioned in this post and click on the word, you will be redirected (in a separate window) to the actual recipe. Amazing! I wonder what else I've been missing out on...

Well, the timer just went off indicating that I should probably direct my attention to the little carb-bombs that are waiting to be mashed. Next up are the Brownies and it's only 00:34hrs; I still have all evening/morning left to bake :) Accompanied by a great movie (kindly provided my Netflix) and a fabulous glass of 2007 Merlot (or two), these tasks will surley be completed in a jiffy.

Wella :)