Monday, January 30, 2012

weekly menu:: week 5

better late than never, right?

here you go

making this week:
monday: spaghetti and turkey meatballs
tuesday: bbq chicken salad
wednesday: bean, vegetable and cheese burritos
thursday: asian turkey lettuce wraps, brown rice
friday: grilled halibut, cranberry rice pilaf
saturday: eat out
sunday: superbowl sunday

baking this week:
not sure what we are doing for superbowl sunday but i'm sure i'll be making something.  maybe bobby's famous football brownies?

enjoy the rest of your monday.

Friday, January 27, 2012

happy friday

it's been a heck of week.

i'm glad it's over.  and looking forward to the weekend. although that is jampacked as well.  but at least we'll be together.

i'm not sure if i've posted this before, but i absolutely love it.

it really has helped when i am having a difficult time.  things have been very busy and stressful lately.  i'm just trying to stay on top of it all.  you know that feeling? trying to sort it out and get it done.

i'm working on changing the things i can change and accepting the things that i can't change. moving forward and focusing on being happy.

i know that being able to come here and take a breath has really helped.  that and i've taken up knitting.  taught myself on tuesday and am working on a scarf.  i am in love, with the scarf and with knitting.

i'm hoping to have some time next week to post some of the things i've been busy with.

until then i wanted to make sure to wish you a happy friday and a good weekend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

family gatherings

on saturday my cousin had a birthday party for her daughter and a housewarming for their new home.  i love when my family gets together.  lots of catching up, laughter, reminiscing and looking at photos of grand babies.
i should say that i have a lot of cousins, second cousins, aunts, uncles and everything in between.  each of my parents had 13 brothers and sisters, so it's quite the party when we all gather for a celebration.
i have to admit that one of the things i love the most about getting together is the food.  good, family recipes that taste so much better when you are with people you love.
my aunt is a genius in the kitchen.  she made her famous potato salad, rice and two outrageous salsas.
for the party, a friend of theirs cooked ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and chicken. these baked beans were so delicious.  i had to control myself from getting seconds.  they were baked with slices of bacon on top.  i'm telling you, finger lickin' good.

i had to skip the cake that my other aunt made for fear of going into a food coma.
the best part is that we are planning a camping trip in the summer with all of the cousins.  can you imagine the food we will eat?  not that i'm going just because of the food.  it's always about family.

i'll share the green salsa recipe soon.  it was so tasty.

Monday, January 23, 2012

weekly menu:: week 4

avocado and tomatillo salsa
this should be a much quieter week than last week.  looking forward to getting back to my usual routine.

celebrating chinese new year today.  i'll make some chinese food for dinner to ring in the year of the dragon.

i bought a new cookbook last year and found some good recipes to try. it's everyday food light recipes.  i love having them all in one book.

making this week:
wednesday: baked gnocchi, caesar salad
friday: turkey meatloaf, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans
saturday: pizza - celebrating jordan's birthday with friends
sunday: eat out

baking this week:
i saw this recipe for chocolate chip buttermilk scones last week and want to give it a try.  i may have just enough buttermilk leftover to make it.  sounds perfect with a cup of coffee, doesn't it?

have a good week!

Friday, January 20, 2012

happy list:: 03

i really hadn't planned on doing this every week and most likely i won't. but while i am inspired i will keep at it.
the happy list
1. being complimented on my kids
the way they make healthy food choices, how well behaved they are, what good students they are.  i consider it a positive job review.  we must be doing something right, right?

2. being productive
but more than that, being helpful.  getting things done.  things that really matter.  things that make a difference.  i love being able to help in any way i can.

3. being appreciated
along with being helpful is also knowing that what you do is appreciated.  acknowledgment makes me happy.  it's going around right now and i love it.

4. having a party
is there anything more fun than a party.  people joined together in celebration.  looking forward to a family birthday this weekend and next, a belated birthday gathering for jordan, and our school gala next month.

5. people reading this blog
and commenting here, on facebook and in real life.  this blog keeps me accountable ( like someone questioning me at a party about why i'm eating pizza if i'm supposed to be on a detox). or telling me that i made their day or made them laugh or touched them in some way.  or inspiring someone to try something new or write something or buy something ;).  i have to be honest, it feels good.

have a wonderful weekend. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

project life 2012

yes, this is a post about scrapbooking.  well, sort of.
the new term is memory keeping.
it involves capturing a story by taking a picture (or not) and adding words or ephemera to tell the story.
it's the way i tell my story.

even if you aren't crafty, this project is for you.
pictures, words, little scraps of life.
no adhesive and as much "fanciness" as you want to add.

take a look at mine, it's not very fancy at all.
i am using the clementine edition.  i love the colors, patterns and happiness of this kit.  i don't need anything more than this kit to work on this project.
i am also using "design a" page protectors.  but after seeing other spreads i will order a few other designs when they become available to add to the mix.

here's my cover page.
week 1

includes jordan's birthday, going back to school and tags from our new bath towels.

week 2

includes the detox, our trip to disneyland, and a very nice card that i got in the mail from our pto president.  that's something that makes this project so much cooler for me.  i would have held onto that card not knowing what to do with it, but not wanting to throw it away.  now i have a place to keep it and remember his thoughtfulness.
note: after putting last weeks layout together i found that i have more pictures that i want to include from our disneyland trip.  so this weekend i will print those out and add them in another page protector and slip it in between that week.  i purchased these page protectors that would be perfect for that.

i plan on printing my pictures from home but will occasionally print a batch at costco if i have time.  i really want to make this as easy as possible to keep up with.  i did this project last year and fell behind a bit.  i think a lot had to do with the fact that i had to pick up the prints at costco, just another step in the process.  i am almost finished putting that album together so i know it can be done.

there is a lot of inspiration online.  some of it can be overwhelming and some of it is truly inspirational.  i've borrowed ideas from different people (check out the weekly wrap up on her layouts) but i plan on keeping this project simple and unique to me.

check out the designers for project life.

some of them use becky's kits and some mix it with stuff they have on hand.  you can be as creative as you want.  just getting your pictures into the page protectors and writing a little something is enough.

the point is this: tell the story of your life.
tell it through your everyday life.
tell it through those magical moments that are gone in an instant.
tell it through the funny things your kids say.
tell it through the everyday details that one day could be forgotten.
tell it through the food you eat.
tell it through the home you live in.
tell it through the craziness that so many of us live with.
tell it through the things you do.
tell it through the places you go.
tell it through the people you love.
tell it through the things that you value.
tell it through your experiences, and feelings.

telling your story doesn't have to involve lots of craftiness.  it can be simple and easy.  you will look back on these moments and be so glad that you took the time to document.

happy thursday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

detox diaries

so last week went something like this:

me: hey b, we need to try this detox? let's start the new year fresh.
b:  sounds great.
me: are you sure you want to do this?
b: absolutely.  we are going to feel so good.

me: last chance to back out.  i'm going to the store today so we have everything ready for tomorrow.
b: i am 100% in.
i buy 3 days worth of food.  some of the recipes make enough for 2 days so i figure we're set for a while.  i have to go to 3 stores to get what i need.  i don't think i've ever had this many vegetables in the fridge.  i also had to use the garage fridge to keep it all.  but we are ready.

the carrot and grapefruit juice was delicious for breakfast.
kale salad for lunch was good too.
i'm not upset about not getting coffee in the morning.
lots of water throughout the day.
we have roasted cauliflower for snack. it was delicious. 
we can totally do this.

monday afternoon i have a doctor's appointment to check my thyroid. i ask her about the detox.  she says she doesn't think you need to do one if you normally lead a healthy lifestyle.  your body naturally getrs rid of toxins. but it sounds like the food is nutritious.  as long as we are getting enough calories and not feeling lightheaded or faint.  balance is what you need in a diet.

i call bobby and tell him we're off the hook.  let's eat.
but we decide that the food is actually pretty good.  plus i spent money on food for 3 days, we should at least see this through.  we decide that we need to add some protein.  we're both pretty hungry.

we have chicken with our broccoli and squash dinner. ahhh.

the kale and romaine lettuce smoothie was...interesting.  the pineapple and mango make it palatable, but just barely.
still no coffee, but i am enjoying hot water with lemon.
for lunch i have the avocado and tomato salad and that was fabulous.
for dinner i'm not sure i can make and enjoy the garlic-beet soup.  but i do it.  we are only supposed to have 1 cup of soup. the soup is surprisingly good.
the kids have tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. 
i make bobby and me sandwiches with whole wheat bread.

bobby is hooked on the juice/smoothie for breakfast.
i need more substance.  plus i'm going to a meeting, then to the gym.  i need carbs. 
i have a weight watcher bar.
still no coffee. the headache is really strong today.
bobby has the avocado salad for lunch.  i have 1/2 a tuna sandwich.
for dinner we have roasted cauliflower and peppers.  i make spaghetti and meatballs for the kids.
bobby and i eat a little pasta too.
no wine for us.

juice for breakfast.
kind of a crazy day for me.  more munching during the day.
we really like the dried fruit and nut balls.
for dinner i make halibut with orzo pasta.
now we are eating more like we used to.
at this point we are still not doing coffee or alcohol.  but we've brought back everything else.

the kids and i go to disneyland.   i know that the detox is over.
at the end of the day i have to have caffeine to make it back home.  i grab a diet coke with dinner.

i weigh in and lost 1/2 a pound.  ok.
we finally have some coffee.
the rest of the day is almost like we never did the detox.

i go to brunch with my parents.  menudo, tacos, flan.  yum.
we watch the golden globes with some friends.
appetizers, wine, chocolate fondue.
this feels right.

so what did we learn?
that we have a pretty healthy diet to begin with.  we eat low-fat, whole grain, no red meat.
we could eat more fruits and vegetables.  we actually ate almost everything i bought.
we tried new things; kale, roasted cauliflower, delicata squash (i actually didn't enjoy that), beets.
drinking juice or smoothies for breakfast is easier on your system.
change it up every once in a while.  sometimes that's what your body needs.
don't deprive yourself.  you end up making up for it and then some.

we're glad we tried it.
we don't need to do it again.
detox done.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 weekly menu:: week 3

now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
last week our food was challenging.  in a good and bad way.

this week we are back to our normal eating habits.  healthy and filling.
most of these recipes are coming from the weight watchers etools, so i can't link the recipes.  you have to subscribe to etools to see them.  but if they're good, i'll share them.  plus they are pretty self explanatory.

making this week:
monday: salmon with brown rice and spinach
tuesday: veggie burger and corn on the cob
wednesday: turkey stir fry with quinoa
thursday: grilled chicken and baked potato
friday: pizza
saturday: pork with pasta and green beans
sunday: eat out

baking this week:
the banana bread recipe that i made last week was delicious.  i ended up using this recipe.  i used 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 of bread flour.  and reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup.  but i did make a streusel topping that was so good.

this week i'm making simple chocolate chip cookies.  

enjoying another day off with the family today.  

happy monday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

happy list:: 02

the happy list

green mugs from target
love the color. love the size. love the price. ($1.99 each).  happy addition to our household. i just wish we were drinking coffee so we could enjoy them.

avocado, bell pepper and tomato salad
i'll have a post on our detox experience next week, but this was our favorite recipe.  avocado, cherry tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, lime, garlic, cilantro and olive oil.  it was soooo good.  you can get the recipe here.

coldplay:: mylo xyloto
jordan bought this album with one of his itunes gift cards.  i've been listening to it everyday and love every song.  i think we all have the paradise song stuck in our head.  looks like we might be taking jordan to his second rock concert very soon.

"i'm forrest, forrest gump" by alan silvestri
in my cycling class this week the instructor played this song during our cool down.  it made me smile the whole time. i went home and played it over and over. in between listening to coldplay.  we love this movie.  and it brings back memories of working on the paramount lot when this movie was released.  makes me want to play it on the piano, if only we had a piano, and i knew how to play it.

goldfish, peanut butter and ritz crackers
made by andrew.  he's been snacking on this when he gets home from school.  what makes me even more happy is that he makes it for jordan and sofia too. he says he's the chef and this is his creation.   

a 4 day weekend
it's professional development day at our school today and martin luther king jr. day on monday.  we were hoping to go to the snow this weekend but there isn't any.  instead we will go to disneyland, a birthday party, watch the golden globes with friends, go to basketball practice and work on andrew's mission project.  it's a good thing we have 4 days to get it all done.

wishing you a delightful weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

a glimpse into the future

what do you see when you look at this picture?
i see my future.
i see his future.
i see letting go of fear.
i see my little boy growing up.

here's the story:
this past weekend my father-in-law took jordan to pick up his car.  it's a car that jordan will work on and build up to drive when he gets his license.  my father-in-law is a mechanic and did the same thing with bobby when he was a kid.  bobby is the proud owner, and builder, of a 68 camaro that he drove in high school and college and in our early years of marriage. (right now it is parked on the side of the house in need of a few repairs.)  the point is that this car will be earned through hard work and knowledge.  it's great that jordan will know the ins and outs of how this car runs and goes together.

after they bought it they came by our house so we could look at it.  and we were impressed.  it's a 67 volkswagen beetle.  it has a lot of the original parts and is in awesome shape.  even the paint job looks good.
jordan looks good too.  but it's hard for me to see him driving it.  i know he only turned 13 two weeks ago but those 13 years flew by.  3 more years will go by in the blink of an eye and then he will be responsible for the keys to this automobile.  

he is so proud of this car.  and i know he will take care of it and be a good driver.  the kids are always asking me questions about traffic laws and what things mean.  double yellow vs. double double yellow, dash vs. solid.  sometimes they have me stumped.  maybe it would be a good idea to brush up on traffic safety, it wouldn't hurt.

i also got this photo.
and then i saw the three of them going to high school or off on a road trip together.  somewhere fun and full of adventure.  or going to a party. i'm sure there will be more people in the car as well.  the thought of that makes me even more nervous.
i hope he is a safe driver.
i hope he doesn't get distracted.
i hope he doesn't text or talk on the phone.
i hope he never drinks and then gets behind the wheel.
i hope he is considerate of others.
i hope he never has an accident.
i hope he never causes an accident.
i hope he never runs out of gas.

i always tell the kids that driving is something serious.  you have to be aware of so many things and be on your toes at all times.  last week while driving jordan to a basketball game i was talking to my mom who was sitting in the passenger seat.  sofia yelled out from the back seat, "mom stop talking.  you need to focus on the road."  see, they are learning.

i think about what adventures this car will take him on.   how many times will he drive away as i pray that he gets to his destination safely?  what dates will he take this on?  who will sit in that passenger seat?  what college will he drive it to?  excuse me while i get a tissue...

i know for now there is still time to prepare myself, to teach him and to get us both ready.  that's all i can think about right now.
and this little girl has a while to go so she better not be getting any ideas.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 weekly menu:: week 2

last week i put the january magazines on my "happy list" and i read the whole living issue this weekend.  i suggested to bobby that we do a detox for the next 21 days.  actually this morning we agreed to do the detox for 3 days and see how it goes.  anyone ever done one?  i have to admit that yesterday i was all for it, and today i am really nervous.

the first week is just fruits and vegetables mixed with nuts and seeds.  no caffeine, no dairy, no gluten, no alcohol.  this is starting to sound like a bad idea.  but we both know we need it.  getting rid of all of the damage we did over the holidays.  we didn't go crazy, but i still feel sluggish, headachy and moody.  so it wouldn't hurt to have a "mind-body detox that will leave you feeling your absolute best as you take on the year ahead".  that's what the article promises.  and that's what i'm hoping for.  you can read about the plan here.

the following menu is up for reevaluation as the week goes on.  i am hoping to make it through the week without any modifications but we'll see.  note: i am writing this post on sunday morning as i sip on a starbucks coffee and just finished a breakfast of french toast and bacon.  this really will be a challenge.

making this week:
monday: steamed broccoli and squash with tahini dressing, the kids will have chicken with theirs
tuesday: roasted garlic and beet soup, the kids will also have grilled cheese
wednesday: roasted peppers, cauliflower and almonds, adding fish sticks for the kids
thursday: steamed broccoli and squash with tahini dressing
friday: we'll be out so this will be another challenge
weekend: if we make it this far we will have the beet soup and pepper, cauliflower meals

baking this week:
i have some ripe bananas to make this banana bread.  not that i'll be having any.  but the kids can for snack, spread with some peanut butter.  this is going to be a hard week too.

i'll let you know how we do.  wish us luck.

Friday, January 6, 2012

happy list:: 01

so you know my word is happy, right?

jordan told me on new year's eve that he thought it was cool that most people's first word of the year is happy.  you know, "happy new year".  you start the year off happy.  i loved that.  (he also mentioned that most people's last word of the year is 1.  "3-2-1".  he is observant.)

i am finding different ways of incorporating my word into my daily life.  trying to find happiness in the everyday, which somedays can be a bit of a challenge.

one way to do that is to start a happy list.  posting weekly the things that are making me happy.  and maybe you'll find happiness in them too.  (i'll try not to wear that word out before the end of the year.)

the happy list

1. january magazines
i admit to having picked up a few from the newsstand recently.  i love that so many of them focus on "the light issue".  eating right, detox, getting life in gear, and organizing.  all of which i am in need of.  lists of house cleaning schedules and clean eating action plans.  i'm all about that right now, so bring it on.
2. jennifer aniston
no, not her.  i'm talking about her perfume. it's called jennifer aniston, clever huh? i read about it on a blog and it sounded like something i would like.  so i went to sephora, spritzed some on and walked around a bit to get used to it.  and you know what?  i like the way jennifer aniston smells.  no, not her. her fragrance.  clean, but sweet.  light and flowery.  i invested in the rollerball but if i like it i'll go back and get a small bottle of jennifer aniston.  no, not her, ok you get it.

3. summer weather in january
i'm not sure if you know this about me but i'm not a cold weather person.  my family makes fun of me because i get a sweater when the temperature falls below 70.  ok. below 75 78.  i can't help it.  i get chilled to the bone and it's not a pleasant feeling.  so this beautiful sunshine and 80 degree weather is making me really happy.  

4. canon 60d
the decision was finally made and bobby and i invested in this fine piece of photographic technology.   let me put it this way, my beloved rebel shoots at 8 megapixels.  the 60d shoots at 18 megapixels.  big upgrade.  and did i mention the 60d has a fully articulated 3.0" lcd.  that's what i'm talking about.  i decided to upgrade the body and wait on a lens for a little bit longer.  it just made more sense to me.  bobby was on board when he found out that it also had 1080p hd video recording.  funny story, if you've been reading my blog for a while you know i've been debating the body vs. lens upgrade for a few years.  so bobby and i were at best buy checking out the cameras and i made a comment about how hard this decision was.  a guy overheard us and chimed in with, what really matters is the glass you shoot with.  (that's the term for lenses in photography circles. )  so we engage in a conversation with this guy about lenses and bodies and megapixels and what really matters.  in the end i think he was just as confused as we were about what to upgrade first.  but he gave me some things to think about.  and i realized i knew a lot more than i thought about camera equipment.  i also found it awkward talking to a stranger about liking the body i have but wanting to upgrade to a better body.  i could feel myself blushing as the words came out of my mouth.  anyway, i'm having a lot of fun playing with my camera.

5. project life 2012
i am so excited about getting started on this album for this year. i'm working on my title page today and will put together my first week this weekend.  there are so many ideas floating around the internet with inspiration for getting this project going.  it's pretty much how i scrapbook nowadays.  easy, fast and fun.  look for some posts over the year with my progress.  to learn more about it check out becky higgins' website.

there you have it.  my first happy list of 2012.

wishing you an inspired weekend.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

holiday recap:: part deux

so where did i leave off?  oh, that's right.  we had just celebrated a wonderful christmas with our families. the second week of vacation we went up to kernville where bobby's dad and stepmom have a place.

we were really hoping for snow and had all of the kids' snow gear and skis at the ready.  but it didn't work out. no rain and warmer than usual weather meant there would be no snow this time.
we did find a few patches of leftover snow that sofia made the best of.  she was able to make a couple of snowballs to throw at me.

our days of skiing and snowball fights turned into quad riding, reading and game playing.  bobby took the kids to a track in town that was perfect for riding the quads.  the kids had a blast and got pretty confident on their bikes.

even sofia took a few turns around the area.  she looked adorable, and well protected, on her little bike.
back at the house i was completely engrossed in the first book of the hunger game series.
 let's call it an obsession, no a need, no i was consumed with anxiety about how the book would end so i read it front to back in two days. i cried and gasped and held my breath.  there i said it.  i loved it.  couldn't wait to get home to start book 2.
we also got to spend time with kendall and grady.  the kids really love playing with their cousins.
the best part about this week was getting to enjoy the outdoors.  this was bobby's office for the afternoon. i think he is seriously considering moving in.

at night we had dinner and played games.
skip bo
and mexican train.  this was fun because no one was clear about the rules.  so we looked them up on the internet and then chose the rules that made sense to us.  kind of a fun way to play.

normally we head back home and ring in the new year with friends or family.  this year we decided to spend new year's eve in kernville and go home in the morning on jordan's birthday.
after an amazing new year's eve dinner we sang happy birthday to jord and ate waffles with ice cream.
photo from midnight
the boys stayed up and watched new year's rocking eve. sofia fell asleep a little before midnight.
sunday we got home around noon and got ready for a family gathering to celebrate jordan's 13th birthday.  maybe not the best way to do it, but it was wonderful starting the year surrounded by our family.

monday was our last day of vacation.  we let the kids choose what they wanted to do.  lots of kinect playing (the disneyland adventure game is really fun), doll playing, rose parade watching, putting christmas away. i knew that getting them back to school would be rough and we wanted to enjoy our last vacation day together.
that's how we made it to 2012.  and that pretty much sums up our life.  lots of craziness, outdoor adventure, quiet moments, love and happiness shared with friends and family.

this year i am hoping to slow things down a bit.  with a large family it seems like there is always something going on.  and we love to be a part of it.  hopefully we can find the balance of participating and taking some time to ourselves.  that will make for a very happy year.