Weight Watchers Wednesday: Three-cheese Mac’ & Cheese

three cheese pic 2

So this past weekend, I ran the Navy-5 Miler in DC. Well, I “ran” it. Since I was completely untrained, I mostly walked it. While I was walking it, I had time to observe the other runners/walkers, especially the Wounded Warriors that were participating, and think. It was very inspiring to watch athletes who were missing body parts to excellent at a sport that I keep blowing off.

I do love running, I really do. Its just hard to stay motivated with my depression. But watching the Wounded Warriors made me realize that I needed to take my health more seriously. So with that, I’m doing my Hal Hidgon’s training plan for the MCM 10k that’s coming up and participating in my company’s STEPtember challenge.

On the food front, I’m cooking again! Last night I made some mac’ and cheese. But I still need to find better snaking habits. (Right now I’m munching on some Lay’s Cheesy Garlic Bread chips.)

What are your training goals?


Three-Cheese Mac' & Cheese
Serves 4
8 Weight Watchers Points
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
380 calories
51 g
35 g
11 g
19 g
6 g
193 g
284 g
7 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 380
Calories from Fat 96
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 35mg
Sodium 284mg
Total Carbohydrates 51g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 7g
Protein 19g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1/2 pound whole wheat penne
  2. 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  4. 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  5. 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar
  6. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  1. Cook penne according to package directions. Meanwhile, whisk together milk and flour into a saucepan until smooth. Set over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to boil and thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese, Cheddar and mozzarella. Whisk until smooth. Stir in pasta.
Adapted from Weight Watchers
Adapted from Weight Watchers

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Middle school was an awful time for me. In eighth grade, I was at my third middle school, seventh school overall. (I would end up attending eight schools before college.) I was considered a Goth by my parents because my inability to control my weight led me to be attracted to baggy and black clothes. Plus, my friends were the Goth kids – the only ones who weren’t out right mean to me. Middle school was where I learned that even “friends” could be cruel. My depression started in sixth grade and I was deep in it.

I remember coming home from another day of just getting by and turning on the TV, just in time to see the Boy in the Window dropping onto the SWAT team van.

Columbine by David Cullen is an examination into the tragedy. It’s amazing, as it should since its 10 years in the making. My only problem is there’s not as much focus on the victims as I would have liked. It felt less comprehensive that way. But really, the experience of reading Columbine more than made up for it. It’s not often that I cry while reading books but this one got me. Obviously because I connected so much to the event itself that reliving it through this book really affected me.

When I was a junior in high school, I had an assignment to ask my parents their most vivid memory (excluding 9/11, which had just happened.) I often think about what I would of selected and I keep coming back to Columbine. It just made such an impact on me.

I remember watching the now laughable Bowling for Columbine and identifying with Eric and Dylan. It’s laughable in retrospect due to the existence of Cullen’s book. Everything Michael Moore thought he knew, and conversely, what everyone thought they knew about Columbine is just turned on its head by this book.

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25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

So I’ve decided to take part in WordPress’ Blogger U, Blogging 101 course. Topic of the day: introduce yourself. I decided to use this meme I “stole” from Peanut Butter Fingers.

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. I’m happiest when… 1) hanging out with loved ones and 2) reading a good book in bed.

  2. …Especially if it… 1) includes exploring new places and 2) anything by Judy Blume.

  3. I’ve always wanted to… go to Greece and Australia.

  4. My family and I… laugh a lot.

  5. I was a terrible… student. I was awful at studying and focusing.

  6. My first job was… bookseller for Books-A-Million. Are they still around? (Google says yes.)

  7. I could probably eat sushi everyday.

  8. I stole… a toy mouse when I was a little kid from a pet store. I quickly confessed.

  9. I was born on the same day as… Michelangelo and Shaquille O’Neal.

  10. My all-time favorite film is… Forrest Gump.

  11. I do a pretty mean… I have no clue.

  12. I’m still mad… I didn’t get a little brother or sister.

  13. I met my husband… N/A.

  14. I always knew I wanted… a huge library ala Beauty and the Beast.

  15. I’m not afraid to… do things by myself.

  16. I make the best… mac ‘n cheese!

  17. I have almost no… natural athletic ability. Everything I can do is through hard work.

  18. I always cry when… I see people and animals being mistreated.

  19. I’m (now) a Virginian but I think I’ll always identify most as a girl without a place to call home. (Air Force kid.)

  20. I spent 12 years… playing soccer. Or being a girl scout.

  21. I wish my folks… were less protective growing up.

  22. At 5, I was deeply in love with cats (and still am) and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

  23. I believe if everyone thought of others more, the world would be a better place.

  24. I can’t stand… bullshit. Low threshold.

  25. Whenever Golden Girls is on, I’ll watch it.

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Friday Five: Blogs To Love

It’s Friday link up day with Mar, Cynthia, Courtney and more!

Blog word. This week we’re talking about blogs we love! Personally, I enjoy so many that it’s near impossible to get through my Bloglovin’ each day. What makes me pick a blog to read? Well, I tend to stick with healthy living, lifestyle or fashion blogs and it’s a bonus if they include blogging/social media tips since I’m always trying to grow Blogs Like a Girl. Anyone that reviews books is a must for me. Also, cat owners get a special preference. If you blog about your cat/s, you’ll always have a place on my feed. Below are my top 11 blogs that you need to start reading now. Why 11?


  • To Love and Adventure – Natasha writes hilarious essays about her life and her cat, as well as book reviews.
  • Writes Like a Girl – A fashion blog, Nicole also writes thought provoking with feminist essays
  • Franish – I appreciate Franish’s exploration into personal style while attending medical school
  • Not Entirely Perfect – Stephanie is hilarious and I will hear no other word about it
  • Katy Widrick – A healthy living blog with blogging/social media tips
  • Life According to Steph – Another Stephanie who writes about her life, including book reviews
  • Helene in Between – A lifestyle blog with tons of blogging resources
  • Venus Trapped in Mars – A lifestyle blog, Sarah also has a passion for sports
  • Confessions of a Mother Runner – A healthy living blog, Deb wins the award for best blog layout design
  • Feminist Fiction – Rhiannon analyzes all types of media from a feminist perspective
  • Get Off My Internets – Probably a controversial pick, Get Off My Internets plays a vital part in holding bloggers accountable

Honorable shouts go to the youtube channel Climb the Stacks, which I listen to weekly, and the website Chezapocalypse, a media critique site that I listen to daily. Of course visiting our link-up hosts is a daily must, as well as Atlantic-Pacific who is the top of all style bloggers, and Hyperbole and a Half, who if you haven’t read the entirety of her blog, you need too.

What are your favorite blogs?

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Book Review: Cartwheel

Amanda Knox should sue.

I originally wanted to write this review after my review of Columbine, since I prefer to keep my reviews in the order I read the book. But I need a little more time to gather my thoughts on Columbine, since it’s such an impactful piece. When that Facebook meme came around, “list the top 10 books that left an impact,” I put Columbine on there even though I read it less than two weeks ago. It left that much of a mark on me.

The same cannot be said for Cartwheel.

Reading Cartwheel right after Columbine lends to kind of an interesting comparison. While they are different genres – Columbine is nonfiction, Cartwheel is “fiction”- Cartwheel is basically the Amanda Knox story with a name and location change and the removal of the boyfriend as an official suspect. So reading Cartwheel is pretty much like reading a nonfiction account of the Knox case. A poorly written account.

Cartwheel tells the story of the murder of Katy Kellers, supposedly by her roommate Lily Hayes. The point of the novel is that it’s ambiguous if Lily killed Katy or not. And therein lays the biggest problem. If the author had simply taken the idea of a death of an exchange student and the main suspect being the roommate who found her, this may of work. There is ambiguity in that. There is no ambiguity in the Amanda Knox case; not with all the evidence that it was clearly someone else and Knox’s crime is simply being too stupid to lawyer up right at the beginning. (Yea, I went there. Knox is dumb.) So you can’t replicate the entire Knox case, change a couple of minor things (seriously, everything from the cartwheel to the unflushed toilet is the same) and expect us to take the “Did Lily do it?” question seriously.

Further, Lily is one of the four main narrators! How are even pretending that things are ambiguous when you give us Lily’s point of view? It makes no sense.

So the plot fails on a structural level. It also fails on a written account. It amazes me how Columbine, written from an almost distance, journalist point of view is more compelling than a book that has several narrative point of views. I mean, surely at least one of the four main leads would draw you in but alas. Plus, the writing is well…look, I’m certainly not the greatest writer. I always feel bad critiquing writing because of that. It’s too out of my element. But the author’s style is so…pretentious. Like, “I just got my first thesaurus” pretentious. It’s also so “flowery” that I found myself skimming whole paragraphs at the end and not missing anything. I’ve read a lot of bad books during my blogging time, books that are actually worse than Cartwheel, and I didn’t find myself skimming them as much as I did this.

I think there was one point where I got engaged for like half a chapter. Then it quickly went away. It goes without saying, but I don’t recommend this book. Read Columbine instead.

1 star

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