Saturday, January 31, 2015

More than before...



  • I've been going faithfully with my guy to the gym several times a week.  We are doing a little more each time and are committed to getting healthier together.
  • I also went hiking with my girl Hannah up to Mt. Rubidoux.  It's a great hike with beautiful scenery and challenging inclines.  She even convinced me to climb a bit! We are going to try to do something active every Friday that we can since I have it off now that I am working a four day work week.
  • I've decided I need to also incorporate some yoga back into my life.  I will be dusting off my Biggest Loser Weight Loss yoga dvd to start with - it's not as easy as it looks!

Made it to the top!

  • I made an appointment to address some blood pressure issues.  I had a nurses visit yesterday and although I am borderline high blood pressure, I asked for a doctor visit for next Friday so I can properly deal with it and will also be asking about some other issues.  It's not like me to voluntarily go to the doctor or to make time to get things checked out - but I know it's important and am ready to feel good and own the fact that I've let my health go by the wayside. 
  • I received Practical Paleo from my cousin Erin.  Not only am I enjoying the recipes, I am enjoying all that I can learn from the WHY behind the Paleo lifestyle.  So, I cut out all grains, legumes, dairy and processed sugar from my regular diet.  This also cuts out processed foods.  The hardest thing about this way of eating is that I have to really be mindful and plan ahead.  But isn't that what we should be doing with our food anyway? The book has several 30 day challenges that are each designed for different issues and I am looking forward to doing the Heart Health one first.  I will let you know how it goes.
  • p.s. I've lost 6 pounds in the last few weeks.  I am not in a hurry to lose the weight with some fad diet or insane regimen.  Eating better, moving MORE, and being more mindful - it's the best way and we all know it.
  • I took some time and used a special coupon someone gifted me and got my haircut - at a salon!  It was really nice!  My daughter Hannah also talked me into getting a pedicure while she got her nails done.  Ah - my favorite!
Sauteed Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Green Beans
Cajun Chicken wings and Lettuce Wrapped Tacos
Choosing the right foods when eating out might be my biggest challenge. 
My "comfort" foods may have to take on a different form. 

  • I'm so very thankful for my job.  I can go to work, do my best and come home and be done with it.  We are currently in our "off-season" so things are slower.  We've started our four day work week and I am so grateful for this time.  I plan on enjoying this extra free day to the fullest.
  • I am trying to be MORE observant and appreciative of my surroundings.  The beauty in the every day.  I am usually on my way to work before the sun is fully up and that has brought me some beautiful sights as I go.

My view as I pull into work in Riverside.

Tomorrow will be February 1st and I am glad that I have so much MORE to which I can look forward.  

What are you doing MORE of this year? 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 ::One Little Word::

I have been choosing One Little Word to guide my year since 2009.  I got the idea from this blog by Ali Edwards.   For me, this One Little Word was meant to replace the "New Year Resolutions".  I've always been very thoughtful about choosing my word each year and often times found myself worrying over it as I prayed and meditated and waited for the word to come to me.  You see, I have always had a hard time knowing what I wanted in life.  I never struggled with helping others.  I was a great leader and encourager to those that needed me - an edifier, if you will.  However for me? Not so much.  It could be anything - I had such a hard time choosing anything for myself. For me.
Here are my words from years past along with my word for 2015:

So, you may have noticed that the last time I blogged here, it was 2013.  I am an avid journaler and never stopped writing my thoughts and continued to keep a written journal.  I've done that since I was a young girl.  Anyway, for reasons I won't go into here, I decided to take a break from my public blog.  I continued with other social media platforms, but I kept it very basic only sharing pictures of special events or moments on my "friends only" timeline - rarely sharing opinions, personal thoughts or anything like that.

I want you to know (if there's anyone even here anymore) that I've missed this blog very much.  There were many times where I wanted to come and share or vent or whatever - but I just couldn't.

But now - I am back.  And guess what?  I am looking for MORE!  More of what?  I kept feeling like I wanted to re-visit my word from 2013 which was MINIMIZE.  But something kept telling me that instead of wanting LESS for myself, I needed to put a positive spin on it and decide that I wanted MORE.  So instead of saying LESS stress - I can say MORE relaxation and leisure.  Instead of less clutter and chaos in all areas of my life - I can say MORE organization and follow through.  Get it?
It's all about going with the POSITIVE AFFIRMATION.  

This year, I would like to enjoy or experience MORE:
  • gratitude
  • art
  • focus
  • sleep
  • exercise
  • devotion
  • books
  • laughter
  • freedom
  • assertiveness
  • truth
  • desire
  • spirituality
  • peace
  • fun
  • music
  • ME.
I am really excited about all the possibilities this year holds for me.  It has already been a great year and as a matter of fact, 2014 ended up being quite awesome too. I look forward to being HERE so much MORE.  I hope that you will join me!  

Did you choose a word or intention this year?  I'd love to hear about it.  Feel free to leave a link or tell me in the comments!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An interview with Naomi: Age 8

This last July I interviewed Marco for his birthday and Naomi wanted me to do the same. Glad she reminded me!  
You can read Marco's here, but this is my Naomi's. She just turned 8 this past Sunday.

Naomi Age 8
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world?
2. What is your favorite color?
3. What's your favorite television show?
Austin and Ally
4. What's your favorite outfit?
My One Direction shirt and dark denim shorts
5. What sport do you like best?
6. What is your favorite cereal?
Cookie Crisp
7. Who is your best friend?
8. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A professional artist
9. What is your favorite book?
"The Day the Babies Crawled Away" by Peggy Rathmann
10. What are you really good at?
Singing and painting
11. Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
Universal Studios
12. What song do you love?
The Best Song Ever by One Direction
13. What's your best memory?
When Mommy surprised me and Taryn and took us to the One Direction movie, "This is Us."
14. What would you buy if you had $1,000.00?
I would buy an iPod and a phone.
15. What vegetable do you hate the most?
16. If you could have a wish, what would it be?
For daddy to find a job. 
17. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
18. Who is your biggest hero?
My Grandpa Rudegeair 
19. What do you like to do best with your friends?
Play and talk about stuff
20. What do you hope to do before your next birthday?
Get straight A's in school.
She was very thoughtful with her answers. So sweet. Almost made me cry with number 16.  She's daddy's girl for sure.

We are having a little sleepover party for her this Friday. It is a first for her and the girls that are coming.  I'm sure you will get to see pictures once it's over and I recover. haha!

Getting my ducks in a row...

Today marks day 30 since my decision to get back on a paleo/primal type way of eating.
I feel so much better today than I did the day I started.
It was my original plan to have a sort of "cheat" day when I hit day 30 -
but that's not going to happen.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
1. I don't really feel like I am dying for anything "bad" right now.
2. I started the Primal Blueprint 21 Day challenge with my husband last week,
so this is day 8 of that challenge and I don't want to mess it up.
3. If I'm going to indulge in anything not on our "diet", I'd rather be able to enjoy
it with my guy.
So I am waiting and if we feel we need it -
we will celebrate our 21 days with something at the end of that, which will be October 6th. =)

Instead of having a cheat day, I decided to celebrate day 30 with a nice primal nature walk.
I actually wish I lived closer to the ocean, 'cause that is how I would really choose to celebrate anything.
Good old Fairmount Park here in Riverside would have to do!
I guess the park got really run down at one time and was getting a pretty bad rap.
Thankfully, the city has done much to improve it and clean it up and it's a popular and beautiful
place for everyone to enjoy now!  These pictures were taken with my phone, but hopefully you can see the beauty that I got to experience this morning as I walked and thought about all the blessings in my life.
 This was my view as I got out of the car and started walking...
 Lots of people are posting photos of their autumn skies - well here's mine. I call it summerfall. ;)
There's a nice rose garden here at this park and I took some time to sit on a bench and meditate in front of this fountain. Beautiful!
 As I continued my walk - I accidentally stepped on this little guy. Whoops! Sorry!
 Did I say 'little guy'?  Here he is in comparison to my thumb nail! Eeks. Moving on!
 Sitting in front of the pond/"lake" is really the best part of this place.  So beautiful... Lots of thoughts, ideas and gratitude running through my head as I take it all in.
 Quack! Quack!!
Here's the other side. Beautiful, right?
On this walk, I made sure that I did a few sprints. Yes, I really did.  I did lots of jumps up onto a short wall. I made sure I was breathing deeply and any time a negative or fearful thought would pop into my head - I said, "NO!"  I said it right out loud.  Luckily, I didn't get any strange looks from anybody, but I wasn't being obnoxious about it either. haha!  I am a worrier.  I over-think things.  I don't want to do that anymore - so I am kicking it to the curb!

I have not been doing so hot on getting to bed as early as I'd like, so that still needs a lot of work!

I have a doctor appointment this Thursday and I am actually looking forward to seeing if there is any difference in weight since I don't weigh myself at home.
Also trying a coconut macaroon recipe for the first time.  I will let you know how it turns out.  =)

How are you doing on your health/fitness goals?  What has been easy for you? What is hardest for you?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spaghetti Squash and Paleo Meatballs

This meal was Aaaaahhh-mazing!!  I really felt like I was eating a plate of comforting pasta!
It was also my first time roasting a spaghetti squash. So easy.  This is what I did...
Preheat oven to 375*
Cut squash in half
Scrape seeds out of middle and discard seeds and "pulp"
Brush or rub a little olive oil on the cut side of the squash
and season with a little sea salt and garlic powder.
Add about a half inch of water to a roasting pan and
place squash cut side down.
Roast for about 45 minutes or until water is evaporated and
"meat" of squash pulls easily away from the skin.
Run a fork across the meat of the squash and watch as it magically
shreds. =) So exciting. You can scrape all of it from the skin
virtually leaving an empty shell.

And now for the meatballs! 
1 lb. of lean ground beef
1 lb. of ground pork
1/2 cup almond flour
3 large eggs beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
garlic powder
sea salt 
italian seasoning (I used McCormick's Italian Herb GRINDER)
Mix all ingredients and form small meatballs and 
place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Add them to the oven with the squash on a different rack,
but only for about 20 minutes.

not pretty, but sooo good! 
The Sauce
I chose to use Classico Mushroom and Ripe Olive Italian Sauce because I had it on hand.
From this point on however, I will be buying fresh ingredients to make my own sauce.

Once the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce and simmer for another 20 - 25 minutes.
Top your shredded spaghetti squash with some sauce and meatballs and then grate some fresh parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!  Even my daughter Naomi gave it a thumbs up and she is my picky eater!

Have you ever cooked spaghetti squash? Did you do anything different that you'd recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Quick Kitchen Tip: Slicing grapes or small tomatoes or veggies...

I saw this tip somewhere on the internet and 
can't find it now to give credit, but I tried it and it worked great.
The original poster was cutting small grape or plum tomatoes.
I needed to cut grapes for my chicken salad.
So instead of cutting each grape individually, which is what I used to do,
you place them all on a lid or other item that is flat, but has a lip or raised edge.
This is so they don't roll away.
Then you place another lid right on top and press together.
You can then safely slice your knife through the middle and get
all of the grapes at once!
Cool tip, right? It was perfect for what I needed.
I love tips that cost no extra money, but will help me to
improve my situation or save some time.
Do you have a cool kitchen tip to share? Tell me in my comments!

Monday, September 16, 2013

What needs attention now?

If I asked you this question, what would you say?
Would it be huge, life-altering self-improvement projects or perhaps something on a smaller scale like clean out your junk drawers?
Well, I think it can be anything you want it to be - so let me answer first.

What needs attention now?
1. My health.
I believe that this is one area that I have talked about and talked about, but what have I done about it?  Not a whole lot, to be honest.   It's not that I haven't tried - I have.  But then I quit.  I'd decide I was going to eat differently or start walking and I would be off to an amazing start!! So determined...

Well, anyway.  Here I am again.  This time, it is different.  I feel differently about it.  I don't know if it's my age or just the fact that I want to look good and feel good too.

So I am on day 22 of eating a Paleo/Primal diet.  Hoping to make it my primary way of eating permanently.  I have started doing my exercise DVDs again - Biggest Loser Boot Camp and Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga.  I've also gone to the doctor, and just today, have had my blood drawn.  I am starting The 2013 Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge today also.  I have been blogging about my health and weight loss on another blog - if you care to follow along and encourage me, let me know and I'll send you the link.

It's not just my weight I'm worried about, but my actual health also.  I know my blood pressure is high and who knows what else I need to work on?  I will get my results back soon, I hope!  It's a start.

2. My heart.
I have never really been completely open here in this little space of mine here in blog world, but it's not because I didn't want to be.  I write.  When I am happy, when I am sad, angry, scared, excited...  I write.  But to put it right here for all the world (or maybe just three of you) to be able to judge every word typed out, every thought or idea I hold dear... Well, that just didn't seem safe or wise.  Most of the time it's not even anything shocking or news shattering.  I usually hold back because I don't want to hurt anyone or offend anyone.  So while most bloggers are making a living at "telling it like it is", I sit and stew and worry over what I should or shouldn't share.  No more.  It's not good for me and it honestly stifles my creativity.
I'm so thankful for Brene Brown. Oh, my goodness. I can't say enough about how my heart is growing and changing and strengthening through reading her books and listening to her talks... but something big is going to happen and it's about time!  I've never had one, and she doesn't know this, but she is my mentor. Yup. She is.

So there's the more "heavy" stuff.  As for the lighter areas, they would currently be:
1. the pantry and "cooking cupboard"
2. the last bit of stuff in the garage to go through
3. Craigslist/Ebay/Etsy items
4. Random housework
Ecclesiastes 9:10a Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;
What needs your attention right now?? Please share in the comments!