2.09.2012

Did I miss something?

Is it just me or do we live in an expensive world (I know it is)? As I check out my favorite blogs I notice a trend -- young, hip, stay-at-home moms. How do they do it?

As I approach the child bearing age, I find myself ready nowhere near ready to have a family. I've just applied to graduate school and I have another three years, at least, invested in school. When I read these blogs and see these women posting babies and travels and a picture every hour of the day from their $5,000 digital SLR with a different lens for each picture I can only think, did I miss something? I only wish sometimes people could be honest about life and share their hardships along with their triumphs.

My hardship right now, as stated before, is getting into graduate school (first world dilemma); it comes with a pretty penny and I don't have those pennies.

Here is a photo of how I feel...see that mountain? I want to get there, but I have this long road ahead of me and I can only go 5 MPH.

2.08.2012

What apps do you have?

Last night I spent the entire night babysitting two kids who just played on their i-products. Apple should just make an "I-sitter" that straps around the neck of a child with the camera streaming to their parents I-phone. So while the kids ignored my dumb jokes I snuck away to the couch to play on my very expensive phone, why not, right? I only spend $100/month on it (yes, sarcasm). Although I love IG (Instagram) I tend to get dizzy from scrolling through photos- maybe Pfizer will make a Rx for that soon. I downloaded the NBC app a few months ago and last night I was highly entertained by two episodes of Parks and Rec (best show everrrr). The quality is fantastic although you do have to sit through the most boring Verizon commercial that replays four times throughout the episode. The app has a lot of different shows to scroll through and watch full episodes which I am sure engage the loveley Verizon commercial as well. I loved the Pinterest app but it had way too many bugs and I always "ran out of pins", how is that even possible to run out of pins. Here are some things I pinned and agreed, they're not as campy as they could be:


2.07.2012

How to Make-up

Why is being a girl so difficult? I have been trying to figure out how to apply make-up properly for the past 20 some years. Lately, I have been looking at blogs and seeing what products are the "hottest" but then I can't help but wonder- do they really use them or are they advertising? Sephora probably has me on their "most returns" customer list. Returning products has become a new hobby for me (don't get me wrong, I hate it). To mask my make-up fiasco, look at this cute ring


I love everything at by boe! So simple and so clean, just how make-up should be applied!

1.17.2012

Chicken Broth Recipe

A lot of my friends have been asking me about my homemade chicken broth and I can't wait to share this easy recipe. My mom always made broth growing up and as I started cooking on my own I now understand why she never bought broth from the store. I can't say I never use boxed broth but I can say that there is a MAJOR difference in the taste of boxed and homemade (I know.. duhhh). Here is my recipe:

1. Get a rotisserie chicken (if you are hardcore you can roast your own, I don't have time for that, I get mine at my local WFM. It doesn't matter where you get it- You can use turkey too! Leftover turkey from Thanksgiving is the best, I will even take my friends bones!)

2. Clean the majority of the meat off the chicken, it is ok to have some on. I usually don't cook the chicken right away and will eat the meat for a day and then a few days later I will make my broth. Just make sure to not throw away any bones or skin from the chicken!

3. Place the chicken in a large pot and fill it with water, water should cover the entire chicken.

4. Place uncooked onion, 2 stalks of celery and carrots, 4 cloves of garlic, thumb sized peeled ginger, sea salt and pepper (I add a tablespoon maybe? Depending on how long you will be cooking it.. more time=less salt), parsley with the stems, whatever other spices you want (I add thyme sometimes... you can add whatever you think would taste great, I added a tomato last night because it was gonna go bad!)

5. Bring to a boil and then lower on the lowest setting and cook for the longest you can, ideally. I usually will start the broth after work at 6:00 and then stop cooking at 10:00. Last night I stopped it at 11:00, just for fun! You don't need to cook it that long but try to at least for two hours! SET A LOUD TIMER, I always forget about it cooking if I don't!

6. Let the broth cool. With a strainer, pour the broth into the strainer with a large bowl under it to catch the liquid. The meat and veggies will stay in the strainer. I always keep the extra meat that falls off and the veggies for my dog, she loves the veggies saturated in chicken juices (minus the onion) !

Sometimes I want the chicken pieces that are small if I am making a chicken tortilla soup. In that case, I usually keep a lot of the meat on the chicken and it makes for the best chicken tortilla soup- I will post that later!

7. I got this awesome container at The Container Store and I keep my chicken broth in it and use it all week.


Now, you might be wondering... what do you use broth for? EVERYTHING!!! I am too cold to keep writing, but chicken broth is great for everything from soups to strews to risotto and pasta dishes. It's important to always have garlic, onions, ginger, celery and carrots in your kitchen at all times! I don't cook all the time but I always have those things. I buy them in the largest bag and use the celery and carrots for smoothies in the mornings. You can also use leeks instead of onions. Often times when I get leeks I will use the white part of it for a dish I am making and keep the stems in the freezer for my broths! It is a perfect replacement for onions. Now go make broth!!!

9.23.2011

Yo

Crunch time is over!! I had my first micro exam yesterday and it was... tricky. Moving on, it is Friday and I just want to enjoy the weekend of absolutely NO STUDYING!

I googled "pregnancy photos" this morning because I wanted to see some examples of backgrounds and poses for my sister and I came across this hilarious photo set on Pregnant Chicken. Check it out, seriously it will start your day off right. Actually, that whole blog is pretty amusing and I'm not even pregnant.

I just thought of a career change right now. I want to be the person that sits at Google and goes over the searches that people type in. I have had some of the dumbest searches in Google, as I am sure we all have. My last one I remember I searched for was, "dreams about clogging a toilet". What's more awkward is going on someones computer and finding a strange search in the Google bar. Hot tip: 1. preferences> show cookies > remove all 2. history> clear history


9.16.2011

crunch time

I've been and will continue to be MIA until this microbiology exam is over next Thursday! I was fine and dandy until the day before yesterday when a dark cloud of fear and stress hovered over me. Omg, Lia just finished eating and she makes these little noises while doing tricks so I can give her treats and she just made me laugh so hard! Ok, off topic (see what kind of distractions I have to work with!) ... I'd love to know what everyone is doing this weekend, if you're reading and I know you are because of google analytics, tell me what you're doing so I can be jealous. I'll be babysitting all weekend and studying the glycolysis route to ATP and glycerol backbones!!

9.08.2011

irritation.com

I don't know the culprit of my irritation but it's probably a combination of getting out of my five hour microbio lecture and lab and coming home to a car blocking my driveway and then realizing I get to spend the afternoon reading about theories and memorizing the biochemistry of cells. Can it just be December 15th today? Lately I have been meeting two of my classmates at 8 am to study for three hours before class which puts in 6 of the 20 hours of studying we should have each week. I don't really put in 14 hours on my own which is really making me feel bad about blogging right now. There's days when I feel pretty bad about where I am with my goals in life and today is one of them. I can't remind myself enough how crappy it feels to struggle through school and find ways to make ends meet financially while managing to keep a smile on my face. I know I can always have it harder but seriously, this is shit. I don't think I can write anymore, the energy is negative and there's no useful tips I can hand off except if you are in a similar situation. Hot tip of the day: screw it all and walk around with your eyes closed, go on a run or bike ride, and scream in a pillow. OH, and I'm eating ice cream later.
I wish it were that easy.

9.06.2011

A new addition

This weekend we met a dog that needs a home and spent the day with her yesterday at our house. James loves her already and although I like the idea of having another dog, I'm hesitant because I'm a little scared to take on a large dog. Quinn is a husky and she's about a year old. She's extremely calm and sweet but I have been used to the lap dog for so long now that transitioning to a dog that NEEDS to run everyday is just another thing to add on my list. Maybe I should try looking at it in a more positive way... having to run everyday is beneficial to me, I will be nice and fit all winter long! Ok, bring it on Quinn!!

9.03.2011

Languages

I spent the night babysitting for my favorite 12 year old girl the other evening. We spent most of the night studying Spanish and it really brought me back to being in seventh grade and feeling embarrassed about pronouncing Spanish words. I like to think I was not alone when I felt slightly strange making my name, which is clearly not of Spanish background, sound Spanish or better yet saying it with an American accent after doing a perfect accent in Spanish of "me llamo...". Anyone else feel me on this one? Spanish was really an easy subject for me and one of my favorites in junior high. I give a lot of credit to my highly enthusiastic teacher Mr. Caldwell but being that my mother speaks Italian and spoke it to her sisters and her mother, made for an easy transition. My siblings and I always question why we weren't taught Italian growing up? My mother would say phrases to us as kids which we would understand and always mocked her when she was on the phone with her sisters. I really wish we pushed my mom to teach us. When my grandmother passed away my mom said something among the lines of, ".. now I am going to lose my Italian" which really made me sad. My mother grew up speaking Italian and French and it's a big part of our childhood. At family gatherings it was always Italian and French combinations at the dinner table while the kids (we all weren't taught Italian and there was 14 of us) would sit in the other room eavesdropping on our mothers talking about us and then yelling back in English, "I know what you are saying!". It was also a way that my mom could talk to me in front of people without them knowing what she was saying and I cannot count how many times my sister and I always say, "I wish we had a language no one else undestood!". I'm aware people understand Italian, but the chances of someone knowing it where we grew up was pretty slim and if anyone could translate it, it would be the kids who spoke Spanish. As I get older, it's harder to feel OK about my mom not teaching us Italian or French . I know that James feels the same way about the language barrier he has with his mom and her family who all speak Thai. I remember one Thanksgiving we spent with all his mother's friends and family over where the whole dinner we ate in silence because no one spoke English the whole night. I know it's never too late to learn but it's too late in the sense that I'm no longer around my mother everyday to practice with her. Here's a hot tip for bi-lingual parents: teach your child the language! They will appreciate it later... and it's an investment in their future.

8.31.2011

closets.


This is a photo of my closet organization system which I absolutely love because I hate putting clothes away! I got these S-hooks at Ikea for super cheap (they are the larger size). I pretty much use them for all my pants and clothes that I wear over again, like after work comfy clothes. I like the way the pants look when your closet is exposed and it makes for a fast put away of clean pants!

8.28.2011

Outside looking in


26 has brought so many strange thoughts, fears and excitement. I find myself talking to older people wondering what it will be like to be older and how I would feel at that age. My lab partner is a mother of two girls and I just sit there amazed at her life. First off, I don't know how ANY mother can go back to school and be taking upper division science classes that require at least 15 hours of study time outside of class and juggle picking up kids, cooking, etc. This woman is also in immaculate shape and doesn't even look like she would have kids. When I see women like this, I feel so excited to be older because these mothers are beautiful and doing it all.

Children have also been somewhat of a fascination. I am nowhere near ready for creating lives but the idea that you can have these little beings that look exactly like you is so awesome. It probably has something to do with me studying cells...we are created by a tiny little cell! (ugh, that just reminded me to stop writing and get back to studying) A few years ago, when I would be surrounded by a group of mothers in class I would have ran the other way and been annoyed by their stupid stories of summer camps, play dates, etc. Ok, this is off topic but "play date"... can this end please?! I hate that saying. I am sorry if you use it and like it but think about it, did your mom use to say it to you as a child? I know my mom didn't. OK, back to what I was saying.. what was it, oh- let's just say this, I would rather be surrounded by a group of mothers than sitting with the texters and 21 year olds that still write with huge bubbly handwriting and dot their i's with hearts.

As for the fears of being 26, where do I start? I am terrified to do anything that will hurt me. For example, driving fast. This is probably the worst example I could come up with but let's work with it. Last night my friend said she was terrified to go snowboarding, I can maybe agree with it, but I also haven't been in over ten years so yea, I would say I'm terrified. Thinking about how crappy my insurance is too, ugh- it is a horrifying thought. In fact, when you begin to think about your crap insurance immediately after any activity, you have just turned into an adult (you should actually be allowed to vote when this happens, too). That whole turning 18 thing is rubbish.

I have even stopped running because although I love to run, I want to be able to walk...forever, not in pain. We are biologically designed to be walkers anyways, not runners. I am also pretty terrified about "hooded eyelids". I just learned about this term last night but it freaks me out. For those who don't know what it is, it is saggy eyelids. Sorry mom if you are reading this and think, WTF! I love you but isn't it kind of creepy?

As for excitement about getting older (hah, the shortest paragraph on this entry)... Oprah once said 50 is the happiest age in your life, or maybe something like that. Whatever age you are at, it will always be an adventure that creates great memories. I think personally I am most excited about being with my family and seeing the world without stressing about returning in time to study for a final or not missing a class.

It's sunny out! (my transitions are so random, I just got distracted by the sun on my table) Sunny and Sunday, go on a walk, buy a coffee and pick some flowers! I'm going to hang out with my cute little dog all day. If you don't have a dog, go out and buy one. Life is too short to not feel the love from an animal. They're always there for you, no attitude included, and they'll teach you something about yourself you never knew.

8.26.2011

MIA

It's been so long! I went missing weeks ago because James and I went to Alabama for a vacation at Smith Lake with our good friends and James' family. Since then, I have neglected blogging but I blame it on school more than just being lazy.

I started microbio a week ago and I have been stressed and confused since. In all my years of science classes this is by far the most confusing class. I don't think the information is hard (yet), but my teacher isn't as structured as I'd hope she would be. I have tried to sit and study but I find myself jumping around from text to text looking for the best explanations.

My favorite thing about school is meeting new friends. I have met some of the most influential people in the past two years of junior college. My dear friend Gabrielle has been such a positive person in my life, I really couldn't imagine pushing myself through these hellish semesters without her. She got into nursing school last May and I am so proud of what she has accomplished; she is truly an inspiration. Now that I don't have classes with her I try to find out which new friend will be my Gabrielle. Micro has a lot of great people, in fact, I have noticed that in applied science classes the types of people you meet are some of the greatest people you will ever come across. It's probably due to the commitment these courses require and they type of people they attract (insert bad chemistry joke here).

Ahhh, another weekend of studying- JOY. For people following my really inconsistent food/diet things... here's what I have been doing:

dinner last night was a recipe from Healthy Living, chickpea zucchini cakes with greek yogurt, mint and spinach.

1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
small red onion, diced or grated
small zucchini, grated
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp-2 tsp sea salt and pepper
1 egg, whisked
Greek yogurt
pita bread
mint leaves
lettuce/spinach

Smash chickpeas in a bowl and mix in breadcrumbs, zucchini, red onion, salt/pepper and egg. Form little cakes to fit into half of the pita bread. Fry the cakes with olive oil until golden brown. I toasted my pita breads and smeared the greek yogurt (I used non-fat) into the bread. Then I put some Sriracha hot sauce, followed by mint leaves, spinach and last was the garbanzo cake.

Breakfast this morning was a yellow nectarine, whole wheat bagel, cream cheese and fresh chives with a large coffee.

The exercise of the week has been road biking to work. Since I really can't keep focus on anything except school (even if it's just thinking about it) I decided to commute to work on my bike. I know a lot of people can't do this but if you can use your bike to go to the store or just ride around for 45-50 minutes a day it is a fun way to keep active. My ride is about 10 miles a day, 40 minutes total, and account for serious wind (I like to think of it as an extra workout).

I hope everyne has a great day at work, school, home, wherever. My sister texted me this morning telling me that the woman in front of her at the coffee drive through paid for her coffee and passed on the message to "Have a happy Friday!", it made me feel warm. My goal of the day is to pass it on, keep the positive energy going and find goodness to pass on to someone today.

7.27.2011

Home Spa.

Here's a great recipe for a great DIY exfoliator. Vitamin C, in crystalline form, and Cetaphil gentle cleanser (make sure the Vitamin C contains only Vitamin C, some brands may have another ingredient); mix together until you get a paste and gently rub on face avoiding eyes. Rinse with warm water, you will feel the crystals beginning to kind of melt away. Vitamin C is wonderful for your skin and Cetaphil is so gentle that this combination is perfect for the most senstive skin types. I get this Vitamin C from, you guessed it, Whole Foods Market.


wheres the sun?!

Here's a little sunshine.

7.26.2011

wannabe lunches.

Today I started off the morning babysitting and I started the morning off late so I only had my coffee for breakfast and an apricot and berries.

I made sure to pack a huge bag with really random food items like a tupperware of about 2 cups of left over cous cous from the night before. I told myself that I would find something to mix it with once I got to work. Who was I kidding? I didn't have anything at work! I stopped by WFM on my way to the office and looked for the cheapest healthiest cold case side; I settled with "cabbage crunch" (green cabbage, slivered almonds, black sesame seeds, and green onion mixed with apple cider vinegar & honey). I also bought two bags of frozen edamame because it was on sale for 1.69, originally 1.99. Frozen edamame is a prime example of a good deal for WFM. I went to Mollie Stones yesterday and it cost 3.99 for frozen edamame!

I wanted to make sure I had items in the office kitchen so I also bought roasted and salted soynuts to snack on and bananas and spinach for smoothies.

I forgot to mention that when I was home before I went to work I made a little soup. I buy these frozen "chicken and cilantro" won tons from TJs. They're perfect for soups and quick bites on the go and they're not bad you etiher. They have something like 50 calories (it could very well be 150 I can't remember) and 1g fat (0 sat.) for every 9 won tons. Either way, it's not bad. I boil a little beef broth (1 cup), but very little because I usually waste the broth, and mix in ginger, green onion, celery and when it boils I put in the won tons for like 5-10 mins. I top this with Sriracha hot sauce. It's amazing.

Once I got to work I was still a little hungy so I made my smoothie:

2 cups of spinach
1 banana
3-4 frozen peaches
4-5 frozen mangos
2 tbl flax seeds
1/2-3/4 c of water

Blend on low and then high for about 1 minute.

It's kind of sad when you get to work and everyone is ordering sushi lunches while you have to go cook frozen edamame but I really cannot afford $15 lunches everyday. When I went to pick up my bosses lunch I asked for an extra wasabi and soy sauce because I thought it would be a great idea to mix the two with my cous cous. I found this to be an amazing combination! I mixed the cabbage crunch with edamame in my cous cous and added in the wasabi and soy. The combination was almost like eating sushi, you know... once it's all mashed together with your saliva. Haha, sorry total bad taste/image for everyone.

Here's the thing... I find myself into sauces but not complicated sauces, just simple hot sauces like Sriracha and lately I have been really into wasabi. I tend to always stay away from white sauces and things with complicated ingredients.

For my workout today, I went on a quick power walk for 30 minutes with Lia. During a commercial break this morning I did Navasana (yoga pose) and on the next break I did Navasana with a modification of extending my legs out and pulling them back in. I ended my mini workout with 10 push ups. I love using commercials as a timer for my work outs because it really does allow you to enjoy a TV show and get a quick tone up completed. It's only mid-day and I have more of a real workout planned for tonight after work.

In the meantime, find something little you can do if you are sitting at your desk like tricep dips on your chair! Do enough until it burns and booyah, arms are done for the day!

7.25.2011

disclaimer

I must say before I start blogging about my diet/exercise that:

1. I don't have the time.

You know how some people seem to have everything planned out and follow the same routine? Well, I am like this 40% 10% of the time while the other 60% 90% is me on the go. It seems normal but it realy isn't and this is all because I am a student and I don't have a normal 9-5. This needs to be addressed because it very much conflicts with my eating and workout schedule. You will see that where I workout, will be anywhere and at any given time. I also rarely have time. My time is my money and sadly, until I have a real career, I will be forced to follow a mad schedule of babysitting, dog sitting, working, and going to school all while trying to maintain good health.

2. I am poor.

A lot of blogs I read display the best meals and the nicest background images which gives me the impression that these writers have enough money for fancy foods, gourmet ingredients, and time on their hands which equals well, time, and time equals money.

I don't need to get into the little details of what I can and cannot afford but let's just say this for the record, I like to spend money on good ingredients when I can because food feeds me and you are what you eat.

People often criticize me for shopping at stores like Whole Foods because it is expensive but I honestly find that Safeway isn't that any more of a deal for savings. I have had to cut out a lot of items I used to enjoy when living with mom and dad like packaged foods, sweetened beverages, etc. For me, shopping at WFM is strictly for vegetables, bulk items, and poultry/meat. Ok, that pretty much listed everything in a store but trust me, you can find deals at WFM!

Now, both of these truthful statements about myself are very important in how I maintain my eating habits. It's simple...because I don't have time and money, I generally spend the quickest time in grocery store buying items I only need and temptations like candy and sweets is rarely an option.

Live and eat simply.

7.22.2011

Keeping it real.

For those that know me well, exercise and good eating has been a major part of my life. In recent years, I have had the greatest opportunties working with some of the best lifestyle changing people in the world which even included cooking with a great chef who taught me how to cook simple, 90% raw food meals. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by this every day at work and I want to share what I know with everyone.

I have been asked by several people what I eat, what I do for exercise, and how I manage to keep it altogther. I have been requested to share my day-to-day eating, recipes, and mini workout regimens (since I don't have time to workout for a long time).

Before I begin, I want to make sure everyone has the basics of what I use in my pantry. I usually shop at Whole Foods Market and you can find almost everything I use there. Let's begin with pantry basics:

Ume Plum Vinegar (it's in the "Asian" section)

Toasted sesame oil (I use "Spectrum" brand, oil section at WFM)

*Taco Seasoning Mix (ok, this is from Trader Joes... I buy a lot of these to keep in my pantry, like 5-6 at a time and they're only .79)

CousCous (I buy in bulk from WFM, I usually always have 6-7 cups on hand at all times)

Sprouted Quinoa (WFM, bulk section. Make sure its sprouted!)

Soba noodles (WFM in "Asian" section or get at any Asian market, keep 2-3 packs on hand at all times)

Canned beans (I know, gross.. but I honestly don't have the time to soak my beans and cook them myself. Get 3-4 cans of cannelli, black beans- trader joes makes a great "spicy Cuban style", kidney, garbanzo)

Fresh Spring Rolls wrapping (sorry, I don't know the name off the top of my head but sometimes WFM sells these in the "Asian" section, otherwise they're at the Asian market. They're plate sized and thin)

Kombu (Asian section, it's dry seaweed)

Curry Powder

Sea Salt

Start with these and then we will get into the vegetables which I highly recommend you try to grow yourself. My garden is very little this year since the weather has not been cooperating. Always grow your herbs (parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, cilantro, chives) as they're easy to grow and always needed! More to come, stay tuned!

7.21.2011

Makayla

videoCoolest soon five year old out there.

7.18.2011

King Charles!




The dogs just lounging on the couch in the sun today.