Thursday, July 30, 2015

ENGAGED

I'VE TOTALLY LET THIS BLOG TAKE A BACK SEAT. 
SOMETIMES REAL LIFE, REAL LIFE ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS TAKE THE CENTER STAGE AND MY TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA TAKES THE HIT. IT CAN MEAN ONE OF A FEW THINGS, BUT WHEN THE BLOG IS QUIET, THE REAL LIFE IS BUSY!

AND IN THIS CASE... IN MY REAL LIFE SP PROPOSED!!!
ITS TRUE. AFTER DATING FOR 2.5 YEARS - KNOWING EACH OTHER FOR 5 YEARS, HE POPPED THE QUESTION AND ASKED ME TO SPEND FOREVER WITH HIM! 
I KNEW IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN SOMETIME BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR, BUT I WAS COMPLETELY SURPRISED ON THE NIGHT HE ASKED ME ... 5.1.15.... 

ALL THE DETAILS ARE LONG.. BUT THE GOODNESS OF THE STORY IS WHAT MAKES IT SO SPECIAL. 
IT WAS JUST THE TWO OF US, RIGHT BEFORE HE ASKED, WHEN HE ASKED AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER HE ASKED!! 
 
 
FOLLOWING THE PROPOSAL WE HEADED TO MY SISTERS AND HER HUSBANDS HOUSE WHERE THEY, ALONG WITH MY MOM, WELCOMED US WITH CHAMPAGNE AND CELEBRATIONS!!
WE CALLED OUR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES BUT SAVED MAKING 'ALL THE CALLS' UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING. IT WAS FUN TO JUST SOAK IT IN, ALTHOUGH IT DIDN'T FEEL REAL FOR QUITE A FEW DAYS!

WE ARE GETTING MARRIED THIS OCTOBER. SO THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!!
HENCE, WHY THE BLOG HAS NOT BEEN GETTING TOO MUCH LOVE AND ATTENTION. 
A SIX MONTH ENGAGEMENT IS QUITE THE WHIRLWIND! I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY AND GETTING TO MARRY THIS SWEET MAN IN LESS THAN 90 DAYS GIVES ME A THOUSAND BUTTERFLIES!!

I WILL DO MY BEST TO HAVE MORE UPDATES FROM NOW ON. 
PICTURES OF THE WONDERFUL FESTIVITIES WILL BE A MUST! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

STANDARD PROCESS || NEW WAY OF COOKING

this is now my second time around to do the standard process cleanse. the first round, in 2013, i did the whole mother load and used the actual sp product line and everything.
(see here for days 1-10,  and here for days 11-21)
due to the fact that the sp cleanse package is over $200 for the protein powder and supplements alone, i opted for my own protein/supplement options.

here are the basics: 
first 10 days: fruit and veggies only (equal parts raw to cooked, and equal parts fruits to veggies)
day 11-21: add lean proteins to meals (chicken and fish)

things to avoid for the 21 days: 
alcohol - caffeine - tobacco - (other stimulants)
nuts
dairy
eggs
grains (wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, bran, bulgar, couscous)
processed or refined foods 

and here's a little realtalk: 
i kept eggs in my diet : hard boiled or poached 
quinoa is amazing and allowed on the diet - they make quinoa noodles and rice now, who knew!
and i added lean protein back into my diet on day 8 this time around

i got a little more creative this time around with some of the meals prepared. mainly because my man, while super supportive, was not on the diet with me and would have gone on strike for all veggies and salads for dinner every night!

DAYS 1-10 looks almost identical to the last time around: 
shakes for breakfast (i used herbalife, cookies and cream)
apple, orange, kiwi or grapes for mid-morning snack
arugula salad with grape tomatoes, 1/2 sweet potato, corn and whatever other veggie i could find
apple, naked juice, marinades for afternoon snacks 
dinner - very similar to lunch, sometimes zucchini pasta and sauce, or veggie loaded baked sweet potato. 
or the most amazing tortilla soup i've ever made!!! i made this pre-cleanse with chicken and we were licking the pot - thats how good it is. for the cleanse i made it again, half the recipe without chicken for me and the other half for sp with chicken. its not as good without chicken, a little cheese and tortilla strips, but all of the flavoring it still the bomb!

DAYS 11-21 got more interesting!
here are a few of the dinners i made: 

quinoa balls w/ garlic/dijon dipping sauce and fresh sliced tomatoes
(i'm obsessed with tomatoes!!) ** 
( i blended these two recipes together to make it work)
i used: quinoa, zuccini, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, egg white, salt & pepper and added a little hummus to hold it all together. 
-- not gonna lie, they fell apart a little while searing in the pan (used coconut oil and then finished them off in the oven) but they were delicious
-- dipping sauce: evoo, dijon mustard, s&p, garlic, italian seasoning, and a little greek yogurt to make it just a little creamy! ( i  know, not on the diet, but a tbs of it didnt't hurt anyone!)

trader joes wild alaskan cod with capers 
here's the recipe i followed - simple, fast and yummy!
i ate mine with 2 leftover quinoa balls and i made brown rice for sp. 

jalapeno chicken burgers 
this was a treat and a test - i had never made chicken burgers before and sp was very skeptical but surprisingly they were amazing! 
yes, i know, the greek yogurt in the avocado dip is not on the diet, but a used less than the recipe calls for and enjoyed every last bite!
my side were grape tomatoes and sp at his burger sans avocado cream, and with a bun, cheese and all the normal burger fixins'! his tomatoes included fresh mozzarella :)
i might have been a little heavy handed on the jalapenos, or i just got a really spicy one?! but the avocado cream cooled the spice down to just perfect!!

quinoa fried rice
diet/recipe/expectations and taste bud/ game changer!
this recipe i stumbled across on pinterest is a real winner.
i had my sister over to test the recipe with me - we cooked and laughed and decided it was so good, the guys would approve and never even know the quinoa was switched for rice! and the good news is, you can add simply baked chicken (prepare while following the quinoa recipe steps) and ta-da chicken fried quinoa is whats for dinner.
healthy and way too delicious!

results: 
12 lbs in the 21 days!!
i had a few hickups (may of may not have had a glass of wine or two along the way).. but i'm super happy with the results and with my new out look on cooking and swapping out a few things for healthier options!

i'd love to know if you've tried this diet, if you have a fav go-to healthy recipe or what your 'spring cleaning' looks like for your body!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

NEW MOMMY MUST HAVES

exciting announcement:: sp is an uncle for the second time!! this time around to a little baby girl!
his brother and sister in law welcomed a little bundle of perfect joy into the world on tuesday afternoon. sp headed straight to meet them at the hospital and i can hardly stand to see them all this weekend!

since i'm not a mommy and don't have any new mommy advice or recommendations, i asked some of my dear friends they are mommy's what some of the things were they 'had to have' postpartum. 
here's the collection that came together: 
new mommy must haves: 
** epsom salt - 'soothing me time' in the bathtub
** coconut oil - 'natures nipple cream' 
** dry shampoo - ' your next shower' 
** gel breast pads - 'sooth the boobs' - refrigerate and enjoy 
** traditional medicinals - 'more better mommy milk' mothers milk tea & cute mug!
** the mommys favorite wine in mini bottles
** halo sleepsack swaddle - the warm fleece kind 
** 'postpartum padsicles' for you know... (image not pictured- details below) 
here are all the goodies in a cute tote i found at hobby lobby (similar)
complete with leopard tissue paper, the mamma's favorite!!  
as for the padsicles... my inspiration was from visiting a friend just a few hours after she gave birth and the nurse had brought her in a 'frozen diaper' - genius!! i've passed that advice on to all my new mamma friends since the hospital does not just offer these up! so i thought, having something similar at home might be helpful. to save the mamma some time, i found these diy padsicles  on pinterest and will have them in the freezer when she gets home!
(i left out the lavender, figured less fragrances the better)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

RED VELVET | | BROWNIE BARS

if your following me on instagram, these might look familiar!
for valenteins this year sp and i had a them: 
red wine
red meat
red velvet
all of which turned out excellent. so good in fact, that i thought i would share the brownie bar recipe with you. no need to add the red food coloring if you just want regular colored brownies:)

i never bake. mainly because i hate following a recipe. 
real talk - its so bad that i've had to throw out a boxed-cake before. told you i'm not good at it. 
but i wanted to make a desert for sp on valentines day, so i followed all of the below steps exactly!
(the only thing i didnt do was use 2 tubes of food coloring, i went with just 1)
this is the recipe i found on pinterest of course!

this girls food pics and chocolate swirls are way more impressive than mine. 
but the taste translated perfectly!!

hope you all had an extra sweet valentines as well. 
x o x o

Monday, February 16, 2015

CANE CHAIR

realtalk: garage sales, antique shopping, vintage finds, estate sales are my weakness.
i am actually really close to putting this bumper sticker on my car: i break for garage sales. 
ok, i'm not quite there, but i do love me some junk. 

like this chair i found below. at an estate sale over a year ago..... ooops!
the real deal is a little pricey (this one, these, or these!) so i thought $30 was a total steal. 

here is her in all her estate sale glory.. in need of some serious tlc.
what the before picture does not have, is the ply-wood seat insert that came with the chair, since the that part was completely non-existent at time of purchase. 

so after a year of 'thinking' about it and taking up storage space in my moms garage, i finally took on this project when the sun was shining and the wind was not blowing (critical for spray paint activities!)

supplies needed: 
you can sand it down if you want, but this one was already pretty rough, so i left that step out. 
cushion form for the seat - similar here
fabric to cover the cushion  -- i found mine in the 'scrap' bin at the fabric store for $6!!
heavy-duty staple gun 

step one:  remove the ply wood and cut foam down to fit
(cut out corners are close to exact as possible so it will fit back in its place better)

step two: staple fabric to seat (over cushion) as form fitting as possible, folding down the corners neatly. (set this aside until your paint has completely dried)
** i went with a really neutral fabric, white, cream with hints of gold. i figured this part is totally enter-changeable down the road. 

step three: lay cardboard or set chair in alley way to spray paint (away from anything you don't want paint on it... spray paint travels!!)
get into all the corners, nooks and sides of the chair. I went over it 3 times (all one can) and still it think i might have missed a small spot or two. but its vintage and a little character is ok with me!

step four: let paint dry as long as possible. i let it sit over night outside, since there were 3 coats of paint that needed drying. 

step five: slowly and without force fit the seat back into its space. 
ta-da! 
new chair just the way you want it! 
now all its missing it a cute accent pillow and maybe a fuzzy throw over the side!
here is a close up of the fabric i chose. i love it! 
its just enough leopard print and gold for a soft feminine touch:)

ps: ace hardware is totally my go-to place for any crafting, around the house, repair needs. 
if only they had a lumber section i would go there for ALL my hardware store needs. 
this post is NOT sponsored by Ace - but i recommend going there!!