Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Graceling Series

I just finished reading the Graceling Series by Kristin Cashore. These are young adult fantasy books. Out of my obsessive reading lately these books were my favorite. The series starts with Graceling and the sequel is Bitterblue with Fire as a companion book in the middle.

"Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight-she's a Graceling, on of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As a niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace-or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."

My Thoughts:
I seriously loved this book from the start. I fell in love with Katsa immediately, since she is a strong female character. I felt like this book was something new and very entertaining to read. I thought it was a really good read and would most definitely recommend it. I think it may be at the top of my favorites. And it is my favorite out of the 3.

"It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossible irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her. Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for on person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next."

My Thoughts:

I had a hard time getting into this book because I could not stand the main character. It was not written bad in any way. It was just in fact his actual character that really bothered me. However, once I got over that I started to really enjoy this book as well. It contained a lot of new content that I really enjoyed getting into. I would recommend it for sure and I like that it is a companion book, so you don't necessarily have to read Graceling first.

"Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart."

My Thoughts:

This book was perfect for my need for a little more. I loved how it tied all the characters together and gave me the little ending I needed. It was also very entertaining and kept you intrigued throughout the entire book. I would recommend this book as well.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vegetarian Ceviche

We made a Vegetarian Ceviche last week (and again last night) and I am officially in love. I got the full recipe here-Mine is below. My Mother in law made it for me the first time I tried it and we decided to try it ourselves last week. -Good Choice!

We used only 1 jalapeno (Didn't want it too hot for the kids)
We also didn't use the hearts of palm (although I've had it that way and it's pretty good) *Too expensive to buy 
We also put ours on tostada shells with refried beans.

How I made it:
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 of large red onion, diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
Juice from 2 limes (Also used it out of the bottom last night-tastes the same)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste 
avocado, diced
cucumber, diced
Bell pepper, diced

*All you do is chop everything up and mix it together. Heat up some refried beans to spread across the tostada and add ceviche on top. Super easy and yummy. We all love it including my kids. This one will definitely be made regularly.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

5.5 Miles

My husband will often go to Sprouts Market to get some yummy fruits & veggies and will take the girls in the jogging stroller. It never seemed like it was that far - the hardest part is the hill. So when he mentioned going yesterday and not taking the car, so he can get his run in I thought why don't I go with him? I've been feeling fat and haven't been doing any workout lately, so this sounded like a great idea. WELL...turns out that this "little jog" to the market is actually 5.5 miles round trip and of course my husband is all about pushing limits and doing your best. So of course I had to job the majority of the way and ALL the way up the hill. This of course would've been a lot better experience if I was in some short of physical shape, but I have honestly not ran for at least 2 months now and can hardly ever find time to do any work out. We made it home in one piece and surprisingly I felt okay. However, just like always when I push myself, without preparation, my body starts to shut down and feel sick. So to bed I went at 7:30 pm with ibuprofen instead of dinner. On a more happy note: I woke up this morning :) and once I got my green smoothie in my body I feel great!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

September Menu

September Menu

This is the first month I’ve done it this way, so I'm sure there will be some editing to future months.

I first went over all our schedules (mine, hubs, and girls) then planned
out a type of dinner that would work best each night.

Monday: Simple (something I could make and Shaun could take to school)
*Hubs takes 4yr old to gymnastics this night and then goes straight to class*

Tuesday: Crockpot
*We are both gone all day and get home right before dinner*

Wednesday: Lite
*I go to Zumba this night, so I want to eat something super lite when I get

Thursday: Pre-made
*We are both gone all day, so I’d like to have something previously made and
frozen that we can just toss in the oven*

Friday: Husband's choice
*He is home before I get off work, so he gets to decide and make dinner*

Saturday: Out or leftovers
*We usually are out and about this day, so we get to decide to eat out or
leftovers* (We don’t eat out more then twice a month and usually use some
kind of coupon.)

Sunday: -
*I don’t plan anything because we go to in-laws a lot this day or we are
starving because we get out of church at 2 and then aren’t hungry for dinner*

Next I got out a calendar and planned different meals for the days of the
week that we’d be home. There were a few days that we had special events
or knew we’d be gone that night, so I didn’t plan meals for those. So when I
got done I had; for example, 4 Monday meals, 5 Tuesday, 3 Wednesday…and I
also planned special things like desserts for after family night. I also wanted to start making breakfast on Sunday mornings, so I planned those out
as well.

Corn & Zucchini Quesadillas
BBQ Chicken Ranch Wraps
Bean & Cheese Burritos
BBQ Chicken Salad

BBQ Chicken Crockpot meal
Potato Soup
Chicken Fajitas
Enchilada Soup

Homemade Pizzas
Spaghetti Squash w/marinara sauce
Stack Dinners

Pasta Bake (which was awful!)
Sweet & Sour Chicken & Rice
Taco Soup

Red Beans & Rice
Pork, veggie, & fruit
Hamburger Spins

Sunday Breakfasts:
Pancake Bites
Cinnamon Rolls & Fruit

Family Night Desserts:
Baked Churros
Arroz con leche

After that I went through all the recipes and made a list of ingredients I would
need. I wrote out all the ingredients and then went through my kitchen and
crossed off the stuff I already had. I finished up my list adding breakfast
stuff to the list (cereal, oatmeal…) and lunch stuff and then the usual (bread,
milk, eggs, fruit) and I planned a store trip when my hubby could watch our
youngest and went to the store! I picked up most things for the entire month. We made a few extra trips for fruit & veggies and then I didn't plan well for my daughter's bday, so I had to get stuff for that. Total for the month we spent $266 for our family of four.

This may sound like it took a long time, but the planning was like maybe 2
hours on a Sunday afternoon. (recipes of things I hadn’t previously made I got
from pinterest, so those were all in one place and easy to look up) And I made sure I went to the store on a separate day, so I wasn’t too overwhelmed or exhausted.

Here are pictures of our meals:
Red Beans & Rice w/Squash and Zucchini

Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls w/Fruit

Chicken Fajitas

Pork Chops, Potatoes, & Veggies

Homemade Pizza

Corn & Zucchini Quesadillas

Pasta & Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad

Sweet & Sour Chicken w/Rice and Cabbage & Carrots

Taco Soup

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dairy...Not for Us


I never liked to drink milk. I stopped all together when I was younger; didn't even drink it on my cereal. Naturally, I became lactose intolerant. I was never completely dairy free because of my love for ice cream and ranch dressing:) so basically I'd eat those two things and get sick. Most people thought I was odd. (I've soon discovered it is in fact opposite and that they are the weird ones for still drinking milk.) However, when I got married my husband got me hooked on cheese. Not just any cheese-only Tillamook cheese, the good stuff, and so I started eating nachos, quesadillas, bean and cheese burritos along with my ice cream and ranch dressing...


We will be cutting dairy out of our diet completely (We've haven't bought cow milk for months-Almond Breeze has worked perfect for cereal and cooking). My husband, me, and my two girls will be much healthier for it!

How we came to this

My husband and I have been doing a bit more research in our progression to eat healthier. We've known for awhile that dairy wasn't good for us. (My Mother-in-law would remind us constantly-thank you) I've noticed we, Americans, are the only ones who still drink milk as adults. I've heard different things about dairy throughout researching and that it will cause this sort of disease, but then hear another argument to contradict that one. And it's all a bit of confusing. Who the heck do you believe?! We decided to believe the one that makes the most sense to us. A friend let me borrow a book The Beauty Detox Solution. (I would recommend this book-gives some great tips and good research) I've been reading it and along with my husband's research we came to this decision. It wont be easy at first, but I think it will be beneficial long term. Along with the fact that dairy already makes me sick, here are a few other reasons why we've decided to stop:

-All mammals drink milk from their mothers. We are all weaned off from our Mothers within the first few years of our life and move to other foods that provide the nutrition needed. This is natural. What is not natural is that we've moved to cow's milk. Baby cows don't even drink their mother's milk anymore yet we do. Sick...

-Dangerous protein in dariy-Casein. This is very difficult for our bodies to break down. This is the one animal protein that seems to promote cancer. Dairy also produces too much mucus for our bodies that can harden and line the walls of our intestines making it super hard to digest. 

-There are other foods that can give us the needed calcium and they all have other great nutrients in them as well.  

-Much of our dairy today is packed with hormones and drugs because of the demands of producing it commercially. Dairy products are also heated to kill any potential bacteria which is also killing any natural enzymes making digesting even more difficult.

-The mass production of dairy cows is awful and sicking if you were to see it firsthand. 

I've been kind and vague with these reasons, but if you do any research yourself you will be surprised and what you find. I promise you will question yourself whether or not you should be taking it out of your diet. And no wonder my body has such a hard time digesting it-it just makes sense! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Good Day

I felt I did rather well with eating healthier today...

Breakfast: Green Smoothie
Snack: Whole Wheat toast with a little coconut butter
Lunch: Vegetable Beef Soup and Wheat Crackers
Snack: Craisins & Energy Bites

*It was all tasty to eat and I actually feel full, so I will probably eat something very lite for dinner.


I just wish that I didn't have to sit on my bum all day at work. Good thing I'm going to Zumba tonight!

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Orleans Vacation

New Orleans
June 30th-July 5th, 2012 

(Jackson Square)

My hubby and I had a great vacation in New Orleans. I think what stuck out to me the most was the people. I miss them. Seriously. Everybody was so friendly and laid back. I feel like we did okay staying within our budget. However, I did learn a few things about a good vacation budget:

Make a budge- We had a certain amount in mind. I put savings away from my Christmas bonus from the previous year for this vacation, so we took the cash with us and wanted to only spend that on everything (minus any big tours if we decided to do one). We didn't quite succeed on this as planned because...

Research Food Costs- We figured we'd spend quite a bit on food, but not quite as much as we did. The biggest problem was we planned on buying stuff from a grocery store and eating at the hotel (came with a kitchenette). However, we could not find one until the our last day there! And it was still kind of pricey...so we had to eat out for every meal AND that got expensive.

Try to stay away from tourism- There were some tours (plantation/alligator/cemetery) that looked fun, but not worth the money. I'd recommend doing them if you really really want to because you'll regret it if you don't (I learned this by skipping a broadway show in New York), but I had already visited a plantation in South Carolina, so instead we just walked around a neighborhood and rode the trolley down St. Charles to see some of the unique houses, which was awesome. Instead of going on an alligator tour in the 100 degree humid weather we tried some alligator on a pizza :) Not quite the same, but worked. Instead of taking a cemetery tour for WAY too much money we hopped the trolley and walked around ourselves. That way we could go at our own pace. I even did some internet searching before about the cemeteries. It was perfect and saved us a ton of $$.

Don't always take the easy way- Instead of taking the easy taxi from the airport to the hotel we decided to save $30 and take the bus. Yes, it took us 3 times as long, but we got to see some of the city and meet some great people! We waited about an hour for the city bus, which we had to change buses and wait for another (20 min), but we met this awesome guy from Australia who backpacks all over the place and this other guy from Colorado. Then we walked with our luggage to catch the trolley (30 min). It was hot and we were drenched in sweat, but I wouldn't change what we did. We felt like we were really getting to know New Orleans. However, we knew better and took the taxi back to the airport when we left-didn't want to risk missing our flight!

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures 
Authors: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

    Ethan Wate is haunted by dreams of a girl he's never met. When Lena Duchannes moves into his small southern town of Gatlin County, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her. And he is determined to uncover the strange connection between them, even if it means uncovering the one secret that could change everything.

My Thoughts:
This book was a bit intimidating because of it's size and was a little different then what I'm used to reading. The first half of the book was entertaining, but I wasn't glued into like I have been with other books. The second half kept my attention and wanting to read more. It's definitely a young adult, which is perfect for me, as I'm still a newer reader. It's got high school romance, witches, light vs dark, southern voo-doo, and deals a bit with family death. I found it fun to read and would recommend to others. It's also part of a trilogy, so I will be reading the others as well.


I've been into reading lately, which is not at all how I used to be. I did as little reading as possible in high school. I'd hardly ever read even for a book report. I did read one book in high school that I still remember today and I actually enjoyed reading it. Death Be Not Proud. But unfortunately it wasn't enough to really get me to add reading to my hobby list. It wasn't until I started listing to Twilight on tape at work that really sparked my interest in reading. I ended up reading Breaking Dawn when I was 9 months pregnant because there wasn't really anything else to do... Read all of Harry Potter and Hunger Games. Now it's like I have to have a good book to read at all times. And I LOVE it. Why didn't I have this love sooner??

So now the reason for posting this. Since I've been claimed into the reading world I've had many conversations about books. Often someone brings up a book and they're wondering about it. Well now that I've been reading so much I tend to confuse the books or can't remember if I loved it or just like it. As a result I've decided to post about the books I read. That way I can remember and give my opinions on whether or not they are worth reading...not sure how valuable my opinion is, but I will share it none the less.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 3: Fruits and Veggies

Day 3: Last Day

Today wasn't a bad start either. I started out with a green smoothie. Ate some fruit through out the day and left over spaghetti squash for lunch, but I had pretty much already decided in my mind that was going to be as far as I was going to go with the diet. I just decided it wasn't for me. I really couldn't go through this whole week feeling lethargic. I feel this may be a better diet for someone that doesn't have kids and can take a whole week to relax and detox. I still think some kind of detox is good, so I will be looking for another one that maybe only lasts a day or two. However, I do feel like I benefited even from the 2 1/2 days I did. 

*I'm eating way more fruits and veggies then I originally was.
*I feel a lot better and even smaller.
*I've learned to control my appetite and eat smaller portions.
*I'm down to 145lbs!

My husband made some pork burritos last night that were delicious and I made sure to still eat a small amount. Then we walked to the park and jogged about a mile back. Then before I went to bed I weighed 145! That right there made it all worth it.

Good Luck to those who decide to try it and can make it all the way through!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 2: Veggies

Day 2: Veggies
Today started off good. I didn't wake up starving like I thought I would. We cooked a potato with peppers, onions, and mushrooms. It was so nice to have something substantial and gave us some energy to get through the first part of the day. Towards the afternoon we were really wanting some fruit or pretty much anything besides veggies. We ate some cucumber and olives, but I really felt so weak and couldn't do much. Dinner was great with a spaghetti squash and sauce (tomato, garlic, mushroom, Italian seasoning). However, this lack of energy and constant hunger is killing us. I realize you probably have to keep sticking with it to really get the results, but when I think a head of what is to come I kind of want to cry. I really thought this was doable for us, but it doesn't seem to fit what we'd like to accomplish. I have no energy to work out, which is something I'd like to do before our trip as well. So for now I will take one day at a time, but I don't think I will make it past tomorrow :)

Today's Weight:

PS: Shaun's out

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 1: Fruit

Day 1: Fruit:

Today started off rather well. I had a bowl of strawberries and blueberries that tasted so good. Of course as time went on I was really really wishing I could eat something with more substance. (Didn't help that my husband was complaining about this "stupid" diet all day and trying to get out of it!) But we stuck with it and ate watermelon, peaches, nectarines, kiwis, cantaloupe, plums, cherries, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, and apples. My all time favorite was that last night we froze some of the blueberries, so I would let them thaw a lil and then snack on them throughout the day. And then as it got really hard this evening I boiled an apple and put cinnamon on it. It was so nice to have something warm with a lil spice. I am very proud of us making it this far especially when we were at a birthday party this evening and turned down all the pizza, cake, and ice cream no matter how good it looked! I'm actually looking forward to Veggies :)

Start off Weight:                                    End of Today Weight:
Shaun-197lbs                                               Shaun-193lbs
Me-149lbs                                                      Me-147lbs

Friday, June 22, 2012

Eat Your Heart Out 7 Day Diet

I'm looking forward to starting this diet tomorrow! I think it will be a great way to cleanse my body and jump start my healthier eating. I know it will be tough, but I really feel like it's what my body needs right now. I'm starting tomorrow, so that we end the day before we go to New Orleans!



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Green Smoothie

I think these "green smoothies" are a great way to get your fruits and veggies in. I wish I started drinking them sooner. Here is the one that I'm pretty obsessed with lately.

(I cut up bananas and strawberries when they are on sale and freeze them)
I toss in bananas, strawberries, carrots, flax seed, and spinach. Then some Apple Juice and Almond Milk.

Spaghetti Squash

I never used to eat squash, but since I've been married I've learned to like it and now I LOVE spaghetti squash. We made it the other night with just spaghetti sauce on top and it was sooo good. I seriously prefer it over noodles at times. And whats best is that it's so easy to make!
Cut squash open, take out seeds, and then put in some butter and wrap in foil. Bake at 400 for 1 hour. 

Father's Day BK

We finally made our Blueberry Pancakes for Father's Day morning. Yum!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Why does running have to be so complicated in my mind when it is actually quite simple? And why do I have to be so stubborn when running is the topic? Thursday was a beautiful day and a perfect evening to go running. I got home sometime around 8 and my husband suggested that I go running. Of course because he suggested it I turned it down. Why you may ask? The only thing I can come up with is because I am so stubborn: I have this dumb thought that he just thinks I'm fat and out of shape. When in reality he knows how hard it is for me to find the time to work out and is just trying to help. So thankfully I've come to realize this and took full advantage to go running on Saturday. It's been exactly 3 weeks since I've gone. And yes just thinking of how long it's been makes me want to kick myself. However, on the positive side I did 3 miles. A full 2.5 miles of running!! I don't believe this is something I have ever accomplished in my life. Even for the 5K I walked before I made it to 2 miles. The only way I feel I was able to accomplish this miracle was throughout these past weeks since my last run (now by run I mean jog) I have done some Zumba, some weight lifting, and working on toning my bottom half. Basically I wasn't completely sitting on my bum I did do something. I really really really wish, however, that I ran more because then I'd be that much better. 

Also important to remember when running:
-Music really does help. The songs def. helped me keep going. Just when a song was ending I felt like stopping then a new beat would come on and I'd push on.
-Small goals. Then when I reached those I pushed myself a little further.
-Weather helps. Beautiful morning made me want to run further. 
-No excuses. I can come up with one for just about anything. This time I didn't even let myself think them up.

Weight update: I hit 147 lbs a few days ago, but today was back to 149. I will not let this get me down. I even felt a difference with those 2lbs. I really started to feel myself again. It's amazing how your weight can make you feel. I am still determined to be down a few pounds a feeling good in a swim suit by New Orleans...I have exactly 2 weeks to make this happen. I can so do this.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week of 6/11

Hmmm....last week seems like it was so far away. I barely remember it. Monday and Tuesday we stayed on track. Wednesday we celebrated my Dad's Birthday and in his memory we went to KFC. Haha...so my Dad. Thursday ended up at my sister's house and she always spoils me and since we stayed so long let us eat with her. (Tacos=Yum) Friday we finally did our fish. And Sunday we ate at my In Laws where I pigged out horribly and now feel fat, but it was soooo good. However, I can not eat like that again for at least another month. Now to a new week.

Monday: Mexican- Tortilla Soup (I'm still at work-it was out of a can)
Tuesday: Crockpot- Crock Pot Chicken a la Criolla
Wednesday: Italian- Spaghetti, Green Beans, Fruit
Thursday: New Dish- Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Friday: Seafood/Leftovers- Most likely leftovers
Saturday: Out
Sunday: Breakfast-Blueberry Pancakes

*For some reason I've been stuck on Chicken as the meat we eat, not sure why*

Just Say No

I could not stop eating these on Sunday. Like Seriously could not stop. There are some things I have a hard time saying No to...and these are them:

Caramel Rice Krispie Bars
*These aren't the actual ones, but I think this may be the same recipe as the ones my Mother In Law made. It's all her fault :)

Pirate's Booty

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fruit Salad

I made this fruit salad for a party on Saturday. I really really liked it. I was looking for something that had like a sauce to it, but without cream cheese or sour cream and I was so happy when I found this one because it was super easy.
I got the recipe from here:

Quick Summer Fruit Salad
1 (5.1 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits with juice
1 lb. fresh strawberries, quartered
1 cup fresh blueberries (optional, I think marshmallows would be a yummy substitution)
3 bananas, sliced

1. In a bowl combine the pudding mix and canned pineapple with the juice.  Stir until well blended and all the pudding mixture has dissolved.
2. Fold in the strawberries and blueberries if desired.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Just before serving, fold in the sliced bananas.

Adapted from Meals 4 Moms

Week of 6/4

So last weeks menu went okay. We pretty much only ate the taco soup at home though. Wednesday we went out to eat with family. Thursday my husband ended up cooking, so he made this beef noodle thing with steamed asparagus. It was actually really good and my kids asked for more asparagus. Friday we got home late and my girls were already asleep by the time we got to dinner (Yes it was one of those weeks), so Shaun and I threw together stack dinners-an all time fav. Super easy: chips, chili, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and salsa. I didn't have the discipline to leave off the cheese, but I did exclude the sour cream (baby steps). And Sunday we were invited over last minute to eat lasagna. So here is to a new week:

Monday: Mexican- BBQ with Friends
Tuesday: Crockpot- Chicken Tacos
Wednesday: Italian- Spaghetti, Green Beans, Fruit
Thursday: New Dish- Santa Fe Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing
Friday: Seafood- Fish, Rice, Veggie
Saturday: Out
Sunday: Breakfast-Blueberry Pancakes

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Workout Progress

So my scheduled working out naturally is not really working. Seriously it seems like there is always something to get in the way. I do try to do what I can when I have any free time. On Saturday I went 3 miles-jogging the first 1.5 and walk/jog the second half. It felt really good and it was sprinkling! Any outdoor workout I do soooo depends on the weather. It's not like me to go if it's bad weather, but I actually really liked it. I also didn't have a stroller to push, which makes a huge difference! I also do crunches and a few push-ups practically everyday just because I can usually fine 10 min to do something. Now when I say a few push-ups I mean a few....like 5-15. Since I didn't have much time for Zumba last night I just did the Zumba Rush (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrzzoTSHmc8) dvd. It's about 20 min and I really feel like it gets my body moving and heart going. Now it's not my fav out of the Exhilarate dvds, but it'll work. One thing I learned with Zumba though is you have to put your full body into it. If you just go through the motions without much effort you wont get much out of it. You really have to put your entire body into moving, which at the time you'll feel like a nerd, but you will get SO much more out of it.

We also finally bought a scale. And so far I've been consistently 149lbs. I'd really really like to loose 9lbs by the end of June. Let's see if I have the discipline to do it.

Week of 5/28

So last week I'd say went rather well. We had a few adjustments since Friday we ended up going to a friends house for dinner for Pork Burritos, which were amazing and Saturday we went out to eat at Olive Garden, also delicious. Sunday our chorizo y huevos was of course awesome. Now to this week:

Monday: Mexican- (Holiday, so we BBQed)
Tuesday: Crockpot- Taco Soup (Recipe and picture below)
Wednesday: Italian- Pasta Roni, Asparagus, fruit
Thursday: New Dish- Santa Fe Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing
Friday: Seafood- Fish, Rice, Veggie
Saturday: Out
Sunday: Breakfast- Pancakes & Strawberries

Crockpot Taco Soup:
(You can pretty much put in whatever you feel like, but here's what I put in this time)
1 can Chili Beans
1 can Black Beans
1 can Corn
1 can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1/4 of an onion chopped
1/4 Packet Taco Seasoning
1 frozen Chicken Breast

All you do is mix everything together in the crock pot and then put in the chicken. Cook on low for at least 4 hours or until chicken is done, but really you can cook much longer if needed. Once it's cooked you can shred the chicken and continue to cook until ready to eat. Ours was a little on the spicy side because of the chili beans and green chilies, but my girls still ate it. We also usually put in chopped bell peppers.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Best Crepes Ever

We had a menu change last night. We were going to do the Black Bean Wrap thing, but my husband ended up not being home, so we changed it to crepes. My all time fav! And these ones were the best I have ever made. On the inside I put one with organic coconut butter and strawberries and then the other I put nutella and bananas. I recommend everybody makes these at least once, but really you'll make them all the time. My girls absolutely LOVED them. The recipe makes about 8 small crepes, so of course we all wanted more. I recommend doubling it, so you don't have to make more in the middle of dinner like we did.

Recipe for Crepes: 
2/3 Cup Wheat Flour
2/3 Cup of Milk (I added a bit more)
1 Egg
1/2 Tbs of melted butter
Dash of Salt (Optional)

Spray skillet with cooking spray, pour in some batter and tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Heat about a minute on each side and serve. I just spread the coconut butter or nutella then add the fruit and fold then top with powdered sugar.

Creamy Avocado Pasta

So we made the Creamy Avocado Pasta ( http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/ )on Wednesday night. It turned out rather well. We did not have the Basil to include and I would most definitely put that in next time as well as maybe some other kind of seasoning-not sure exactly what, but it seemed a little too bland for me. We aslo just used regular spaghetti noodles because that's what we had in our house. I would definitely use whole wheat noodles next time. However, the family ate it all up including our girls. I will make it again with those few modifications.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Week of May 21st

So far so good on our meals this week. We sat down Sunday night to plan them out and it only took 5-10 min. Record breaking time for us. 

Monday: Bean & Cheese Burritos w/ Mexican soup
Tuesday: Spare Ribs in the Crock Pot w/Baked Potatoes, Broccoli, and Applesauce
Wednesday: Creamy Avocado Pasta, Salad, and Bread http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/
Thursday: Veggie Wrap
Friday: Fish, Rice, and Veggie
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Chorizo y Huevos

Both Monday and Tuesday were good. I'm looking forward to tonight, since we've never tried the Avocado Pasta before. I was also pretty proud of our lunch yesterday. I went to the grocery store yesterday morning (I haven't been grocery shopping in at least 4 months-my husband has been doing an awesome job of going) and I really tried to get healthy things to eat. Our biggest down fall is the snacking, so I tried to pick up some "lite" snack things. I felt accomplished.
Lunch-Organic peanut butter and honey on whole wheat, carrots, apple straws, and grapes. My girls devoured it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Meal Planning

So I have the hardest time eating healthy because we rarely have meals planned. AND I have the hardest time planning meals. I've been feeling so lost. I came across this blog today and felt inspired. http://www.simpleorganizedliving.com/2011/09/06/my-new-meal-planning-method/

Basically, instead of planning a specific meal for each night of the week she created "themes" for each weeknight. I absolutely LOVE it and can't believe I never thought of this before. How Simple. Since we are mid-week already and I've got a crazy weekend I will begin this starting Monday.

Monday: Mexican Food
Tuesday: Crock Pot (whatever we can make in a crock pot)
Wednesday: Italian Food
Thursday: "A First" (a night for a new meal I've never made)
Friday: Seafood or Eat Out
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Breakfast

I think this may help with my meal planning blues

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our New Car

We really did it. We sold our 2008 Nissan Xterra
(this is a pic from when we first bought it ::sniff::)

And we bought a 2006 Mazda 6
(No this is not our house)

And Yes we miss our lovely Xterra, BUT this is what made us reach our goal of getting out of debt!! That right there made it all worth it. And besides the Mazda is starting to grow on us...not to mention it saves us $$$ on gas.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Las Vegas 5K

This past weekend I finished my first 5K in Las Vegas (38:42 min). Can I just say that is was an Awesome experience and I feel that everyone should do one at least once. I am so pumped to do another. Thank you Rina for pushing us to do this.

Now for a little of my fitness background: First off I am NOT a runner. Or at least I didn't use to be, but am starting to enjoy it now. I grew up mostly in dance. I was a part of colorguard starting in Junior High through two years of college. Then I did a few years of Ballroom, which I still love and wish I had more time to do. From the time I became pregnant with my first daughter to now I haven't quite found a workout routine that works for me. I just recently purchased Zumba to do at home, which I am really liking. I've just got to get into some kind of work out routine that works for me. I used to be consistently 135 lbs. I am now up to 151 and I don't want to be here. This is my start to better health. I'm working towards another 5K on June 23rd to support the fight against cancer and also to tone up for my vacation with my husband to New Orleans June 30th (it's going to be hott and I will be in a bathing suit the majority of the trip). I will keep you posted on my progress :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A little history...

Shaun and I met in 2006 coming from very different backgrounds. He was born and raised in Utah very much into hunting, camping, anything outdoors. And I came from So Cal very much into the beach, shopping, camping in a log cabin-not on the actual ground. We met at Los Hermanos both working as servers, but only worked together for a few weeks before I changed jobs and went to Applebees. It was just enough time for us to meet and start eating lunch together with friends at college during classes. We married shortly after...I'll spare you the sappy details.

So Shaun had grown up handling money rather well, but had no credit cards, which equals no credit. I on the other hand had many credit cards (too many) and therefore lots of credit. Luckily we compromised a bit and met in the middle when we got married. After paying off any remaining balances we threw away and cut up all my old credit cards and Shaun and I got one "emergency" card together through our bank. It was a great decision for us because we rarely use it and pay it off quickly, but it will help us keep building credit (I think, I don't really know).

A few months after we were married we went to a sales pitch for WorldMark just expecting to get the free thing at the end. Well we ended up buying. Married couple financial mistake #1 (investing in timeshare knowing nothing about it). However, we do use it every year and love it and were able to pay it off last year with our tax return, but we do pay a monthly maintenance fee for it. I don't think we've saved any money by buying into it, but we always know that we'll be staying at a great resort when we travel and we LOVE to travel.

September 2008 we were due with our first baby girl, so naturally we thought we needed a "family" car. Married couple mistake #2 (buying brand new car). We bought a 2008 Nissan Xterra. LOVE LOVE LOVED it, however, being a brand new car it lost its value almost immediately after driving it off the lot. Also put us in a lot of debt, which I justified in my mind because it was for a car. I've learned since.

We of course had our debt for schooling, which compared to others was not bad at all. We applied for financial aid and grants, which were both awarded to one of us leaving us only paying for the others. We were also attending a State College, which turned into a University my last semester making our tuition much cheaper. We did take our time paying off the student loans because the interest did not incur until a while after I graduated, so we paid on other debts first.

We had our second baby girl in 2010, which we very lucky to have military benefits, so we did not go into any debt on either girls.

And at this moment we are COMPLETELY DEBT FREE!! It took some time, but I definitely think it was well worth it. Now on to the savings...