Wednesday, June 30, 2010


In her book, Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, & Found Happiness, Dominique Browning shared a little diet her doctor gave her to lose 15 pounds.  At first glance, it appeared too strict (imagine that).  But then I noticed the plan calls for eating (or drinking) something every two hours.  And it doesn't require any special food.  And it is dirt simple.

So after vacationing for a glorious six days in Laguna Beach, I came home and went on this plan for five days.  I did not eat out at any restaurants during this time.  And I quickly lost what I gained on vacation and two pounds extra--what a deal!  Nor did I gain anything back when I went off the plan and back on WW. This plan also took away my sweet tooth since there are very few carbohydrates (that in itself is a miracle).

So while I would find it very difficult to be on this diet for a month, I think it is great for the days following a vacation (if you are like me and eat more on vacation than you do at home) or to jump start a new eating plan.  I will always love WW (when I actually stay within my points it does work) but this V8 diet was a good change.

Wake:  6 oz water, while still in bed (I do not stay in bed to drink this)

7:30   tea; boiled egg; bottled water (I fry my egg over easy in a nonstick skillet)

9:30   V8 juice

11:30  small container fat-free cottage cheese; 1/2 apple; 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon; 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed; water (I have a whole apple)

1:30   smallest water-packed tuna, or 1/2 grilled skinless chicken breast; greens; bottle water (I added canned salmon to the rotation)

3:30  V8 juice

5:30  small container fat-free cottage cheese; 1/2 apple; cinnamon and flax seed (I substituted greek yogurt for the cottage cheese)

7:00  4 oz. protein; 1 cup veggies (only broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, summer squash, green beans, or cucumber); water

9:30  2 oz. protein, preferably turkey; water (Although I bought the turkey, I just couldn't eat it at 9:30 pm)

Any time of day, V8 juice, as much as desired (I didn't do this)
(V8 juice is a great but I like Kndusen's Very Veggie drink even better.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


This is where I've been perched for six days finishing two books and starting a third.  Southern California is always a treat.  I love that little chill in the breeze.  Oh, to live there through the summer.  Can you even imagine?

So here is what I read:

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas & Found Happiness by Dominique Browning

Dominique Browning was the editor in chief of House and Garden Magazine.  I have always enjoyed her writing and although I didn't subscribe to her magazine would stand at the bookstore reading her monthly editorial just for the pure pleasure of her words.

After running the magazine for over a decade, she lost her job when the magazine abruptly folded (stupid economy).  The book details her life following the shock of job loss.  It is a quick read and my only criticism is the frequent mention of her heartthrob, a guy she nicknames "Stroller" (for strolling in and out of her life).  I could hardly stand reading about him so I started skimming anytime I saw his name in print.  You know how it is when you are watching a movie where the heroine clearly should dump the boyfriend only she figures it out after an exceedingly long period of time?  That is how I felt about this guy.  I wanted to write to Dominique and say, "Really?  You couldn't figure out he was no good the first moment you met him?" Oh, and he's married--slightly separated but nevertheless married.  But, I digress.  I enjoyed the book.

Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen

Didn't you just love reading Little Women when you were a kid?  Harriet Reisen has written an excellent biography that was on Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Books of 2009.  Louisa May Alcott was part of the American Bloomsbury group that included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller and Nathaniel Hawthorne.  She also grew up knowing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes (what is it with these middle names?), and Henry James and other famous writers, poets, and artists. 

Louisa was tremendously loyal to her family working hard to earn enough money to help the family and pay off her parent's debts.  Paying their debts was the motivation to produce the short stories, plays, novels, and magazine articles.  Her Father, Bronson Alcott, was a teacher and lecturer who was close friends with Emerson and Thoreau.  They thought he was a genius but he couldn't make a nickel with all of his forward thinking ideas so the Alcott family was forever seeking help from others.

The mid to late 1800's was a grand time in America for artists and writers. Creativity abounded and it was great fun to read about Louisa and the famous people she knew well.   Apparently there is a PBS Documentary based on this book so I need to track it down and take a look.  Drats, it is not on Netflix!

To Serve Them All My Days by R. F. Delderfield

I just started this beloved classic and will report on it next month.  So far, I love it.

Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers

Another fun book to listen to as I drive to and from work.  The prose is terrific and the British accent perfect.

Happy Summer reading!

Kimberly Gail Wold

Photo - Laguna Beach, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010


View from the outside of Christ Church College, 2007

Tom Quad at Christ Church College, 2004

View from a punt (darling Oxford boy doing the punting), 2004

In anticipation of my trip to Oxford later this summer (to attend the Oxford Experience) I have just re-read Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. I've mentioned before how much I enjoy Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey (more like major crush). The story takes place at Shrewsbury College, a small women's college at Oxford. Shrewsbury is fictional but is based on Sayers' Alma Mater, Somerville.

All of this Oxford talk got me thinking of the jargon unique to British schools and in some cases to Oxford itself. Here are a few of my favorites:

Oxford College Idioms

Bursar - School's administrative money person

Buttery - pantry for drinks/food

Porter - One in charge of the gate or door (usually wears a bowler hat, quite dashing)

Scout - A student's housekeeper at Oxford (we get our own for the week we are on campus)

Don - Professor at Oxford (only)

High Table - The dining table for the Dons or Fellows dine. It is normally slightly raised above the other tables. Picture the Hogwarts dining hall--the high table is where Head Master Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall are seated.

While I'm there enjoying my class English Country Houses, I will be all-ears for more Oxford idioms to bring back to work into my vocabulary. Click here for my personal experience at Oxford (2004 and 2007).

Friday, June 4, 2010


I'm sure there are a ton of recipes out there for sausage, peppers, and pasta. I didn't look around for any I just had these ingredients on hand and knew the combination would be divine. It was.

Sprouts had a great sale on chicken italian sweet sausage so I bought a few links. I used two of them in this recipe along with multi-colored peppers. It also made for great leftovers.

Chicken Italian Sausage - 2 large links
1 Red Bell Pepper - chopped
1 Orange Bell Pepper - chopped
1 Yellow Bell Pepper - chopped
1 Onion - chopped
4 cloves of garlic
Crushed red pepper flakes (I added 2 tsp)
Favorite marinara sauce
1 lb. penne pasta (I used 1/2 regular and 1/2 whole wheat)

Saute the sausage whole in a tiny bit of olive oil until nicely browned. Remove the sausage and slice into the sizes you like best (I sliced and then halved them again) and return to pan. Add the peppers, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until tender and the sausage is done. Add your favorite marinara sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. After pasta is cooked, add to sausage and pepper mixture.