Monday, August 30, 2010


I've had a stressful summer.  Too much to do and not enough time to do it in.  Sound familiar? We all have stress in our lives and for me, there are times I can handle it and other times when I can't.

When I can't handle it, I take my stress out with eating.  For me, I ate more this summer than I usually do.  Come to think of it, I didn't eat that much worse than I have all year as I maintained my weight loss.  But I am currently a good 10 pounds heavier now.  Why?  I haven't been exercising!  When I say exercising is key, I mean it!!  I can have a little allowance with my eating if I am working out, if I'm not, my weight just creeps back on, every time.

Right now I sit here and I can feel my waist line cut into my tummy.  I HATE this feeling and yet it's back.  The first thing I need to do is make time for the elliptical.  Even if I don't change my snacking or stress relieving methods, the workouts will help with maintaining so I can stay in my snug pants (for now) instead of having to buy the next size.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Where I've been...

So sorry for my absence.  I've been out of town and had no internet access!  I wasn't too concerned knowing I wouldn't have internet access because I still had my iPhone to keep me connected.  What a surprise it was when I walked into our rented beach house and had NO SIGNAL.

I honestly panicked for a moment.  Some of my first thoughts were, "What if I need someone at home? What if I'm needed?" (I'm responsible for our youth program at church) I also enjoy checking in on Twitter friends throughout the day and I wondered what it would be like if a week passed without checking. Would I be forgotten, would I forget who I enjoyed talking to?  Yea, pretty petty thoughts.  But my biggest legit concern was, "What if some horrific world calamity took place while we are here and I have no way of calling for help?" That's a legit concern, right?  I have four children, three of which aren't good swimmers, and we are by the ocean, what if something happened?  (Have I ever mentioned that I am a worry wort?)  I enjoy the comfort of knowing that if anything happened, I could call 911 and have help within minutes.

Luckily, after we got unpacked and I went out on the beach in front of our temporary home, away from the big hill behind the house, I found 5 bars and 3G.  I was comforted to know that if I needed anything, anything at all, I just needed to run out to the ocean and dial away. :oD

We had a wonderful time with family and the sun, now it's time to get back into the swing of things.  A brand new year of home schooling starts tomorrow and life is about to merge into the fast lane.

Here is a view from our house:

A photo of my cousin and I. 
(Please disregard my lack of make-up, 
I was on vacation from EVERYTHING!!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Homemade Coriander

We discovered coriander a couple of years ago and we honestly use it as much as salt.  It adds a citrus flair to your foods and we add it to everything.  Fabulous on beef, chicken, vegetables, salsa, sauces...you get the idea.

Recently, we had cilantro growing in our garden.  We enjoy growing the herb for our Mexican dishes, but we have a hard time going it.  It quickly goes to seed.

Outside recently, one of us thought that coriander was from cilantro seed.  If you are familiar with these two flavors, you know they are entirely different.  I giggled to myself when I tasted one of the cilantro seeds and proved that they really are coriander.

It was fun to separate these little pods from the dried cilantro plant.  A little touch from the food processor, and we will have the freshest coriander we've ever had.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I had a fun time doing an interview this week.  Jess over at Jest Kept Secret is starting a new segment on her blog called:

I was the first one to participate!  She is such a sweetheart to work with too.  Please go check it out! :o)


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Garden Galettes

Although I have never heard of a Galette, they don't look unfamiliar.  Tonight I made this dish for the first time and it was a wonderful way to use garden vegetables!  The combination possibilities are endless.  I made this one tonight with yellow & red cherry tomatoes and basil from our garden:

Check out  PrudentBaby for recipe directions and some beautiful pictures.  

Friday, August 13, 2010

To Free A Mockingbird

My son rescued a Mockingbird from a dog's mouth, after it fell from a tree. I hand fed and raised it. To see the journey from the beginning, check out my YouTube channel.

My hubby is creative with zucchini.

This garden season, we were overzealous in our planning and planted more zucchini plants than last year. (Just in case) Yea, all of the plants grew happy and healthy and now we have a serious over abundance of zucchini.

We committed in the beginning that we would strive to be creative with the green vegetable and I'm proud to say we have.  We've had them in foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert.  They've been added to the tried and true family favorites, new dishes have even been created.  We have done well.

The lastest creation was done by my hubby.  He decided to add a little bulk to our traditional salsa and the result was quite tasty.  The flavor is the same, and if you close your eyes, you can't even tell that there is zuchhini in there.  The children are pleased and we have been eating it with chips.

It's been a fun summer keeping up with our zucchini plants.  Our familiar vole even showed up, but this time, we just turned our backs and let him do what he wanted.  (We are minus 11/2 plants now, and that's okay) 

What's been keeping me busy that last couple of days.

Darn, I wanted this post to be today, when today was Thursday.  I'm up late so it's technically Friday now.

Anyway, for the last couple of days I have been participating in an online writer's conference called,

Wanting to get my children more involved with reading and writing, I've researched how to be a better writer. (Everyone knows I already love to read)  During this process, I have found that writing is actually kind of fun!! (Wish I would have realized that reading and writing are awesome when I was in school and had the time.)  I keep telling myself better late than never, right?

Anyway, everything that took place is posted on the main site.  If you are interested in writing, head on over and check it out.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I have been trying to live on 6 hours of sleep so I have the time needed to do everything I need to do in a day.  It's not working. I find myself incredibly tired around 3pm and there isn't anything I can do about it but wait for the kids to be asleep.

Another thing I notice is that being tired makes it hard to make a good choice.  I find myself not really caring about what I want to eat. It's almost like I resort to a primal instinct. I'm hungry, so I eat. Doesn't matter what it is, or what it will do to me as long as I get full.  If it's there, I'll just grab it, because I'm tired and don't want to think.  Luckily, this week of trying to live on less sleep, the cupboards are a bit bare of snacks, so it's easy to not...snack.  If there were some goodies in here, I can guarantee that they'd be eaten.

Right now I feel as though I am rambling, not making sense.  I probably am, because I'm tired.  This tired-all-day feeling isn't really worth the amount of work I get done by staying up.  I am going to try to convert to early bird-ism next week, and fight my natural night owl. (Late at night, I can often be found doing what this man is doing in the picture)

Photo Credit 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Brownies and Excuses

So yesterday we had homemade brownies. (And by homemade, I mean homemade.  No boxed ingredients where you add eggs, oil and whatever, just 100% of OMGoodness) I made the "One last batch" kind of brownies. You know that batch, the one you are going to get your fill of so you can swear them off for awhile while you get your weight loss efforts in check.  Yes, that batch.

This is the thinking, the excuse I have used in the past that helped me gain 40 pounds.  Why do I still use it then?  Because,


A way for my mind to be okay with the idea of freely eating brownies without the guilt.

The "plan" was to have a great day today.  Eat enough brownies on Sunday until I was sick of them so when I wake up on Monday, I'd have a new resolve.  Today is Monday, the fresh start to a new week where I hop back on the wagon and get my eating and exercise in order, right? Wrong. Guess what I had for breakfast?

The cycle continued.  I know I am not the only lady out there that does this. Excuse. Excuse. Excuse. For one reason or another we use excuses to tell ourselves it's okay to indulge today so that we can do better tomorrow.

So was today an epic failure?  A day to cancel out with horrible eating so that tomorrow will be better?  NOPE!  I have learned something on this journey.  I told myself this morning, right after eating the first brownie of the day, no matter how today went, I would work out.

I have OCD, I'm a perfectionist and these two together will probably be the end of me one day. Maybe. But I am learning to use them to work with me.  Long ago they worked against me in the perfect vs. not perfect day thinking, like I explained above.  (If today isn't perfect, gorge and try again tomorrow)  Now, I use it to hold myself to a promise.

Tonight, after a day that started with brownies that went through lunch, I ended the day with a normal dinner and a workout.  The workout felt great!!  I went onto the elliptical with thoughts of what to snack on after I was finished and end up stepping off of it sweaty with a lost of appetite. Soon, I'm going to make myself some herbal tea with a shot of milk and call it a day.

With my old, OCD-perfectionist thinking, today would have been an epic failure the moment the brownie hit my lips.  Instead, I'm ending the day feeling in control and ready to take on tomorrow, a little bit stronger in my weight loss goals.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Meeting Maggie Stiefvater

Along my weight loss journey, I have found that I love to read books on the elliptical trainer while I work out. It passes the time and I get uninterrupted reading time in. It's a win all around! One book that I read earlier this spring was Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.  I greatly enjoyed it.  In a nutshell, it's like Twilight except substitute wolves for the vampires.  Young love, a paranormal life pulling them apart, you know the type of story...I love an easy read that sweeps me away. (I must warn you, the night I started Shiver, I wasn't ready to put it down after my workout.  I kept reading until I was done-because it was that good.)

The second book in the series, Linger, just came out last month.  Excited for the book to come out, I discovered that her book tour took her to Petaluma, which is a good two hour drive.  Wanting to go, but not wanting to make the drive by myself, I put out the feelers on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to go with me.  My close friend, Christine, said she wanted to go.  Living at the middle mark in Vacaville, it was planned that I would pick her up along the way!

Leaving later than I wanted and then finding out the parking garage that was supposed to be "Just behind the bookstore," wasn't, we were still parking the car at the time the event started. No, the parking garage wasn't just behind the bookstore like the young fellow I spoke with on the phone said, it was 3-4 blocks away on the other side of a stream/river/water thing.  By the time we hiked, went over a dock and waited to cross a busy street, we were 15 minutes late.  Luckily, after we got to the store, recovered from our brisk walk and purchased our books, Maggie had just started to talk.

Did I mention that it was absolutely FREEZING?? Yea, we left home pushing 100 degrees and when we got to Petaluma, we could nearly see our breath before our eyes. No, it wasn't that cold, but had we properly dressed, it would have been a lovely walk.  Since I had hot summer day attire on, my teeth were chattering so hard, I thought I would chip a tooth.

Despite the craziness it took to get to the signing, it was absolutely wonderful to see Maggie Stiefvater.  Maggie was just as wonderful in person as she is online. It's neat to meet other moms who are using their talents to entertain others while raising a family. I could have listened to her funny life stories for hours.

The best story she shared, was about her most recent plane ride.  On the way to the Bay Area, she found out that "Linger" didn't just debut on the New York Times Best Seller List, but that it debuted as #1. (Read the full plane story HERE and her post about her first Linger tour HERE. )

Starving from the drive and the signing, Christine and I ate at a Mexican food place down the street from the book store.  It was okay.  (I'm a super picky when it comes to Mexican food, or any food for that matter)  We missed out on the fried ice cream since we were there near closing time. Next time I will consume my first real fried ice cream. The last time I ordered it, probably when I was a kid, it was a scoop of vanilla ice cream rolled in corn flakes.  I'm serious.

As I dropped Christine off, I realized that we didn't take any pictures together! In my lame attempt to capture the evening together, I got this.  Not bad, but not the best.

I'll keep this photo small to spare you.  We were both sleepy, although I am looking a little cranked. I drank a huge glass of soda at dinner to keep me awake.  I typically avoid caffeine, so when I drink it, it's super effective.  You can see this in my eyes. (Another reason to keep the photo small, my eyes are frightfully large and the way we are positioned, my head looks freakishly huge compared to Christine)

We had a great time! It was a wonderful, fun and at times, silly way to attend my first book signing.  I hope to attend many more.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hanging off the wagon by a shoelace.

So I haven't been the best example lately.  The elliptical trainer is dusty and I couldn't tell you the last time I was on it.  I also haven't been eating as well as I should, but I haven't been completely out of control either. This is probably because there isn't anything in the house to snack on, or I would be. (I didn't buy snacks this week on purpose) 

Every once and awhile we find ourselves in a place where we wonder how we got there.  I haven't been trying to avoid being healthy, but I certainly haven't been embracing it either.

Today I noticed that my knees were a bit achy.  The ache is a reminder that I am not 19 any more and when I don't workout, my body will remind me of this.  For me, when I don't work out, I slowly gain weight.  Mostly, because I like to eat.  Working out daily and eating the way I do balance each other out.  Take away the exercise and eat a little sloppy in regards to good choices, and the weight returns, quickly.   

Lately, I have been using the exercise excuse that is as old as the existence of stationary bikes.  

"I am just too busy to workout tonight."

Honestly, I'm too busy for my health?  Really? Shouldn't that be a priority?  If we don't make it a priority, our body will certainly make our health a priority when it's taken away.  Health is never more precious than when you aren't in possession of it.  My knees are reminding me daily of this important fact.  I must put working out back into my schedule.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I had a post up for a few hours and then realized that although I planned on getting it up days sooner, I probably should wait until my guest post on another site went up first.  Oops!  I don't want to do a blogger no-no.  So I'll talk about something else for now.

I don't have a picture for this, I could go take one of the left overs that sits in the fridge, but the photo wouldn't be appealing.  I'll spare you.

Ben was in the kitchen yesterday being creative and he stumbled on something fantastic!  Our tomato production is yet to get into full swing and we don't have enough to make what we normally do with our tomatoes ie.spaghetti sauce, salsa, bowls of chopped tomatoes with mozzarella and basil.

In efforts to use up the many zucchini we have, Ben had the girls chop up zucchinis in little chunks.  He went ahead and made salsa like we usually do and added the zucchini to make up for the lack of tomatoes.  It looked a lot like gazpacho.  I had some yesterday in a bowl and it was okay.  But today, when I went at it like salsa with a chip, it was AMAZING!  Next time we make it, I'll take a photo when it's fresh and pretty!