Monday, May 06, 2013

How To Eat Clean & Meal Plan

A lot has been going around about "clean eating", non-processed foods, gluten free, paleo etc. Luckily eating non-processed foods is not just another trend, its actually proven time and time again to be healthy for you and logically makes sense for your life. It's been easier for me to eat clean rather than just eat to lose weight...and I find I am at least maintaining my weight this way. Whenever I add exercise and cut out some of the heavier foods that are still clean but just too carby for me, then I lose weight too! Everyone is different though, so maybe carbs aren't your enemy like they are mine.

Growing up in Southern California means we are OBSESSED with our weight, health plans, being skinny, exercise, etc. Whenever I go back to the south with my love I am so happily surprised that my size 14 hour glass body is not just considered normal there, but I am smokin hot! However, whenever we try and tell his family and friends about how we normally eat they simply do not get it. They think we eat "organic" and that means we don't have meat and only raw vegetables. Its pretty hilarious. But really, what is clean eating? This really just means I know what all of the ingredients are that I am putting into my body, and I know that I am not eating a bunch of hidden sugar, hydrogenated oils, msg, and other weird junk my body cant process and serve NO nutritional value. I try and take it a step further and have organic when I can afford it so I am also avoiding all of the pesticides that sneak into our meat, dairy, fruits, and veggies too. Plus organic meat and dairy means the animals are treated more humanly, which is turn means I am not eating something that's been living in its own poop and eating grains, antibiotics, and junk its not supposed to. ALL of that goes into your body when you eat this kind of meat! I dont need to go on about this, there are plenty of documentaries (like Forks Over Knives which was a recent success), books, and blogs serving up this kind of information and safe alternatives.

Assuming you already subscribe to this, and are a working single woman or almost momma like me (21 days until we are home with our little buddy now!)...good luck trying to eat this way without help. I am so busy I don't have time to sit and make up recipes and crap. I hardly have time to even cook! I read about some of these women or recipes and laugh and how time consuming and hard to find the ingredients are. So that means I have had to get into a great routine in shopping and meal planning, its been working for months now and is so easy and now FUN I am excited to share. I was barely cooking for months because I was so burnt out, these last few weeks have been so fun getting back into the kitchen for real.

Steps To Clean Eating Success (for real people):

  1. Spend 15min/week pinning recipes
    1. I only get snippets to do this, 5min here and there. I have them all in one MAKE board.
    2. I also have a few blogs and websites with recipes I scour when I have a few free minutes, I pin the recipes I like to the same board so they are all in one spot when I am ready to plan
  2. Spend your 15min break at work choosing 4 clean and under 30min dinners from your pinterest, 1 freezer dinner, and 1 soup
    1. For example, a quick view of my pinterest board has been choosing:
      • Monday taco night
      • Tuesday whole wheat spaghetti with a sugar free marinara with sauteed portobello mushrooms and zucchini 
      • Wednesday: shrimp and roasted asparagus
      • Thursday: salmon and roasted tomatoes
      • Friday: Something fun! (see below)
      • Saturday: frozen chicken for a chicken bake
      • Sunday: wonton soup
    2. I put all of the ingredients I need into a standing grocery list I have in my phone. The staples are already in there, so I just have to delete last weeks recipe section and add the new things from this weeks menu. I also write what the names of my dishes are just like I have in #1
    3. The first 4 meals you obviously make the first 4 nights after the store when everything is still fresh. Fresh is best! 
    4. Frozen chicken serves great in many meals you could do over the weekend
    5. Soup is EASY and a great Sunday meal when I am feeling lazy, plus the leftovers = lunch on Monday
    6. Fridays are my favorite, I add cheese/sausage/wine to my list so on Friday I get a break from cooking and we have a little date at home (more on this amazing tradition another time!)
    1. See? Clean eating is easy when you just do incremental planning during the week. As I find great recipes I have this amazing repository of them just sitting there waiting for me to cook. It also makes trying new things mixed with old favorites easy. This week I am going to try and make my own bread for our Friday night tradition. 
It helps if you have a Trader Joe's, Sprouts/Henry's, or other all natural store nearby. I am obsessed with Trader Joe's but even all of their products aren't particularly clean or organic, but they do make it easy for me to whip up meals where I know all of the ingredients at least.

Other options are emeals where you can get a menu with a grocery list emailed to you every week, I did that for awhile but then decided I like choosing my own meals. Find what works for you, clean eating doesnt have to be difficult, time consuming, or icky. We eat delicious food every night of the week!

Good luck!



Friday, May 03, 2013

The Gift of Time.

As I get older and birthdays, Christmas, weddings, or even just Mothers Day get togethers become genuinely special because we so rarely force ourselves to get together (and I just LOVE my friends and family too much for words). I think especially after my momma was sick, every year we have to celebrate with her has become even more precious. 

As these events call for gifts to the person being celebrated or just to each other in general (e.g. Christmas) I realized lately I have been changing my gift giving style and methods. No longer do I spend time rushing around on the way to the event trying to find something suitable, unique, something they'll actually use instead of just putting on another shelf or in another drawer. Something they'll love and think of how much I love them when they see it. These are all well and good, and sometimes I do still find myself seeing something so perfect for someone on Etsy or at a vintage store I can't help but tie a bow on it and give it to them. But we already have so much stuff. There is no reason I need to continue to add to someones piles. Besides, what is it we really value anyway? Time. 

It started with my parents. They are so difficult to buy for because they already have so much stuff, and the new stuff they want is too expensive for a single gift. Plus, I know finances are tight so they never get to do fun things anymore like dinner out, the movies, etc. So I started buying Groupons for them as presents. Wine tasting on a yacht around Dana Point! Dinner out anywhere! Movie Tickets! Then I noticed my aunt and uncle never go out and do anything because of their kids, so my family started giving them dinner/movie certificates which included free babysitting from one of us. Now as boyfriends birthday comes up, I already started saving for premium seats at a Padres vs. Braves game (he LOVES the Braves). For people who don't ever get time together, and when they do its busy running errands or doing chores...time doing something fun together even as simple as a dinner out, can be such a treat. 

As our little bear prepares to arrive I haven't bought him a single toy. All of them were given to us (or borrowed. Besides second hand books, you can never have too many books. But even those you can get free from the library!). Even when I thought I'd have to buy him some toys I was going to just get a train set, cars and car mat, and blocks before calling it a day. That is PLENTY to keep a toddler entertained in the evenings. You know what we are spending our money on instead? Fun things together the week he is first here. Nothing too fancy and all activities we get a military discount on, the zoo, children's museum, and the kids area for a $3 baseball game downtown being most notable. Otherwise the beach, my parents backyard, and our pool seem like a perfect way to spend time together without overwhelming the little buddy. We just want to BE together outside...even a hike around the lagoon by our house would be sufficient. 

It's amazing how when you take your "I NEED MORE STUFF" glasses off, how much the world opens up. You are free not to care about all that junk anymore, and instead dig for the cool things we can fill our time with that are free in our neighborhood. We all work so much, sadly boyfriend can't help it and I will be cutting my hours once little buddy comes...but still. It makes time together even doing simple things, all the more precious.

So as Mother's Day comes up, I'd encourage you to think outside the box and find something to DO that you know she would love. My Momma doesn't even care what we do together, she just misses me all the time so something as simple as a coffee date would be good enough. And our mother's day event? A free picnic outside drinking and eating snacks in the sunshine with each other. 

Enjoy your friends and family.



Sunday, April 28, 2013


Not sure what to title these anymore, I am writing now so far and few between that an entire update could have so many names. I do miss writing, but by the time I stop moving at the end of the day the last thing I want to be doing is sitting at the computer any longer. I think I will have much more to update once our little bear is here and I am in full momma mode.

I am proud to say his precious room is almost finished! Sadly we don't have a "before" picture when the time comes to do a comparison simply because there wasn't anything in there. Just my old dresser, boxes of our stuff we hadn't unpacked yet, and an ironing board. Literally, we had nothing for him. The bounty of donations and thrift store /cheap finds has been overwhelming. We have so many clothes and toys for him now its surreal. I am just putting the finishing touches on over the next 2 weeks and then am excited for the big reveal. Some of my girl friends said it best when they saw the progress last week "AWWWW and he's never had his own room or things before so he's going to walk in and it's just going to be so special for him!". Exactly. Boyfriend and I are buying our plane tickets this week, including one for little bear. We should all be home memorial day (eeeee!!!).

On weekends when we lazily wake up in the middle of the day, we find ourselves missing him. We know so much of our lazy time just between us will be gone, but adding him to mix for snuggling and laughing just seems so fitting. Contrary to what I thought about having kids (and what I can tell my friends still think)...having your babies around isn't like a chore. Its so much fun! And you dont get to see them all day while at work so every moment together is special and wonderful. And after everything hes been through, we just want to give him the world.

In other news, work has suddenly gotten better. Boyfriend laughs because it seems like every time I want to up and quit it will suddenly get better and I am fine again. Although this time, it's a significant change, they now have me doing training at least 1-2x a week on our various products to different internal groups. Often I am the key presenter and content organizer so its been using my best teaching skills in a really tangible way. I have been enjoying work now for 3 weeks and counting. Plus, last Friday I gave a HUGE presentation to almost the entire company about the site re-design we've done so far. Not only was I the key presenter, but I also organized the entire training, made notebooks for everyone with notes and screenshots to follow along with, followup activities, etc. Afterwards, a few co-workers encouraged me to shmooze with the CEO to see why they are hiring outside the company for a training manager job when I am clearly doing it already and made it known I wanted the position. I have a feeling its the HR lady with a stick up her ass overlooking me, so as soon as I got back to my desk, I set up a lunch for Monday with him. I am nervous! Secondly, I think after little bear comes and I am forced to cut my hours a little, I won't feel so chained to my desk all day there either.

Other wonderful and amazing things...

Meet Cherry, my new sweet whip (yeah I said whip).

Went camping with all my besties!!
Me and the bf hiking

The rest of the cute crew (including Picket laying down hehe)
We are trying to lay low from now until the little bear comes to save money. Three plane tickets, a rental car, new daycare, and 4 days of unpaid leave is expensive! We are both taking the first week off that he is with us to do some fun things all together and get him acclimated. I think on the agenda is the zoo, beach, USS Midway, getting acquainted at the new daycare, and swimming and BBQing with his new grandparents (who might die of excitement until he gets here). We didn't want to try and do too much since it might be overwhelming for him, but just enough that we aren't bored around the apartment all day. I had to put my Disneyland dreams aside until the fall when he'll be a little bigger, more settled, and it'll be less crowded- sigh.

Because of the saving money mode, we decided to do a whole lot of nothing this weekend. Literally, just slept a bunch, snuggled, read, caught up on sexy time of course, watched TV and got drunk at home. It was the first time either of us has spent the weekend not running errands, on a trip, or just busy in SO long we were quite content. Plus, boyfriend may have tried out his new migraine injection just for fun and ended up sick with side effects and an apparent allergy. Then I had to give him benedryl so he could breathe properly, but he passed out all day from those side effects too. It was like a bad movie but also pretty funny...he didn't even have a migraine, he had just gotten them from the doctor that day and was curious and bored so...yeah. This is the man I love.

And with that I shall bid you adieu. Time to bake some sweet treats for our amazing neighbor I shall have to write about another time.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.



Tuesday, April 09, 2013

That One Time I Became A BALLER.

Remember when Jesus just kept on blessing us over and over again? To the point that I keep getting emotional and don't know how to process anything?

Well everything has been a bit of a mess lately financially. A bunch of our bills are all jumbled up because we've been so busy we've overlooked them, and then my car battery just wouldn't start one day so I've been carless for almost 2 weeks now which meant no groceries and behind on other important errands. Besides all of that we had to go out of town for boyfriends brothers wedding which was SO BUSY...therefore as usual I've been stressed out, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Between the bills and money confusion, car problems, and the crazy long exhausting weekend...I am DONE.

And then...randomly...boyfriends friend from work wants to sell us his BALLIN 2000 BMW for only $3000?! How is that real?! It has low mileage, no problems, and is in great condition?! How is that a real thing?! God doesn't provide just any car for us, but THIS?! The only issue is that it's a 2 door and only takes premium gas which isn't suitable for when little buddy comes, but we have boyfriends 4 door we can take for family adventures so I don't think he'll be in mine all the time anyway. Plus, between the train to work and writing off gas for my tutoring business expenses I think it will even out. I may even see if I can write off my car payments once I put a sticker on the car window marketing my business.

So this Saturday we are going to meet his friend at the bank and do all the necessary paperwork, I am already approved for the loan so it's pretty simple going forward. And then I get to drive my new sweet digs home!!!

Just when it seems like just too much...God is always providing in the sneakiest of ways!



Monday, April 01, 2013

Sweet Givings.

What a sweet weekend boyfriend and I had together. Well, Friday was a bit of a mess when I was running late to work so I was going to drive to the train...but then my old car wouldn't start. So with my injured foot I tried to run and catch the last train I can take to work...and missed it. By then I genuinely didn't have another way to get to work since boyfriend needs his truck and I needed to figure out what was wrong with it. Plus there was nothing going on at work anyway so I called in sick. It ended up being VERY needed as I cried in boyfriends arms later with the "what am I doing with my life? I am so unhappy!" speech that warrants it's own post for another time. I can't even tell you exactly what we did. I really wasn't feeling well mentally and think I really needed the day off. We put up some pictures around our place, my dad came by to try and help with the battery, I cleaned a bit. And otherwise I napped and read and tried to rest. I've been feeling so overwhelmed and frustrated was so needed. And we didn't realize how little we've seen of each other these last few weeks. 

Saturday we had a day full of errands and adventure together gathering our donations. First we got a big train table filled with train parts and pieces, a little wooden table and chairs, puzzles, games, and other goodies for our bear from my uncle. Then we drove wayyyyy down to pick up the bed which ended up coming with the box spring and a little head board and footer which were from my mom's friends brother growing up- perfect for my vintage preferences. After easter dinner this afternoon my mom popped the fancy Britax car seat we got from our cousins awhile ago into our trunk too, to which as you can see, Bella took to quite nicely ("finally you bitches got me a throne"-Bella). We still need to get organized and paint some of the furniture, but other then a few small things we are ready for our little buddy! Plus we still have more friends dropping off some toys, clothes, and books in the coming weeks. 

I feel so blessed. And have needed to remind myself when I get overwhelmed by all we have to do, the business I want to start tutoring, sorting out our finances and just everything that needs to be done- to stop and remember that God provides. He has provided for us abundantly during our entire relationship and attempt to get our sweet pea. It was always in His timing and plans that were better then ours. I worry about everything all day and today's Easter service helped remind me how generous God has been and will continue to be. Basically, I need to calm the fuck down. (Thats right, I talk about God and say fuck in the same paragraph. What of it?). And continue seeing where good things are happening in every seemingly dark place.

We are so excited! I think boyfriend might explode from happiness. And every time he talks to baby mama she continues to confirm that she wants us to have full custody. She's even planning her next job maneuver already based on us having him. 



Everything All The Time.

I feel like my life has become so stressful and overwhelming, exercise has become necessary for survival. I somehow injured the right side of my foot over the weekend and it refuses to get better so I tried to rest it a few days (it's seriously painful even while resting, let alone walking) but couldn't take it anymore and finally just went on the bike for 30min today. I could feel how down and gross I felt everyday this week even though I was still eating healthy and sleeping well. I can't function with my work life being so crazy busy everyday, everything we have to do for little buddy, and never getting to see my love. I've actually been kind of depressed lately.

What kind of life am I living? I work a corporate job I almost always hate, run errands, and clean all week alone. Then try and shove as much fun into the weekends as possible. How is this my life? What choices did I make to get here? It's rather dramatic of course, but still feels real. My job isn't that bad, it's just not my passion and I am working toward my career goals by applying for teaching and tutoring jobs so something is bound to come up. And there's no getting around the bf's work schedule just SUCKING and my life being full of chores and cleaning to support my man who works so damn much. Plus I am tired all the time from constantly being woken up by him coming home at 4:00am and not being able to go back to sleep.

So yes, I am fussy ALL the time. And yes, exercise relives my stress and rejuvenates my energy. Gives me something to do only for myself- for an entire hour. And lifts my mood so I don't want to punch people in the face all the time.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Wow, when God wants to give he really GIVES. I know I have been awfully "spiritual" lately but I am so overwhelmed with sweet things it's hard not to see how it's all being orchestrated for my family. Once you see how much life can beat the shit out of you, the other times when God colors it brightly for you become very clear.

My mom has been OVER THE MOON excited that we are finally really preparing for little bear (if she asks me one more time 'what should he call us?!' I swear to God). It looks like we'll be able to buy tickets in 2-3 weeks with the goal of going to get the little buddy at the end of April or early May. Although this may seem far away to some, when you are a couple on a budget and have NOTHING for a toddler to play with, torn apart bed pieces in his room from storage, nor daycare's a bit overwhelming. Mom has also been helping me project plan our needs and make a plan of attack. Lack of money for it all by the time he comes is concerning, as well as time since we are gone quite a few weekends and boyfriend and I still have opposite schedules.

But then we continued to be blessed the pants off of.

Mom offered to throw us a "Welcome Home Little Bear/Toddler Shower!" once he arrives since everyone will want to meet him anyway, and if they want to give gifts we can register for some of our direct needs. Boyfriend and I were already a little overwhelmed by this, "people want to throw a party for us and give us stuff?! What?". But then to top it off my aunt and uncle offered to let us borrow their amazing Thomas the Train table, the train set (the fancy ones at book stores and stuff!), clothes still too big for their second baby, books, legos, basically anything their oldest isn't using or playing with anymore but their baby won't be ready for for awhile. EVERYTHING PERFECT FOR LITTLE BEAR. Now literally all we need are some cute baskets for holding it all, sheets and a comforter, a lamp, mattress, and wall decor.Which is the cheap stuff I've had picked out for ages! It's like this giant weight has been lifted off of me. Between my exciting  upcoming new career endeavor that will give me more time and less stress for my family needs, and the pouring out of resources for our sweet pea...what is there to even worry about?

Still a lot to do. Still trying to balance it all until I can quit my job here. But until then, how blessed are we?!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Fresh Start! (Something Exciting!)

So sadly it is no secret I haven't been thrilled with my job this last year. I don't hate it everyday and for a corporate America job it is definitely not that bad, but it is simply not what I am passionate about. And sitting in a cube all day no matter how much I decorate it and how many breaks I take is simply not my thing. I am creative, talkative, like to teach, and it's just simply not for me. Plus the lack of flexibility, commute, boyfriend's schedule, and BEING A MOM in the near future put on top. So I have my resume in for a teaching job I could get which would be great, and have another position that would still be in the technology corporate world but would be curriculum development which I prefer. But besides those two options I have a new business plan. One that is requiring bravery and heart. One that gets me equally nervous and excited at the same time.

After I've used up some vacation, and we have some money and the baby cake and sorted (so probably mid summer or the fall), I will be quitting my job or offering to do some part time contractor work for them and starting my own business tutoring!!!!! I KNOW!!!

I feel like it is perfect timing since little buddy will be coming and we are more financially stable, plus if it wasn't for my debt we could live off of his income and still have savings, so with daycare potentially being a HUGE chuck of our money even with the military's help, it seems silly to pay that when I can just watch him and do tutoring around boyfriends or family schedules to put towards my debt and spending money. I was so nervous to tell him about it and may have cried when he was so excited for me and said "let's do it baby!". To be secure financially and have the support meant so much. And I feel like this is setting me up for when we want to have more kids so I can still work part time.

I am beyond loved. I don't know how to deal.