Sunday, March 8, 2015

That defining moment when you look in the mirror...

...and realize you are no longer ok with yourself. 

For me, it is no longer okay with being overweight. 

I have focused for the last few years on being a single mom and raising my kids, but sacrificing my health and self-worth. I thought I was okay with it all, until I had THAT moment. 

I look at myself in a mirror or reflection all day long without a second glance, but this time I just starred and I was no longer happy with me. 

Some may say I am crazy, but I believe it was God telling me I am filling myself with all of the wrong things. 

Instead of feeling like I am in control with food - eating what I want and when I want - I need to surrender and fill myself with Him. I need to be free from this crap I eat. All. The. Time. 

Instead of filling myself with TV, I should be active and go for walks or the gym. 

Enough is enough. I am ready to be the best "me" that I can be. The only way that'll happen is by focusing my heart and eyes back on Him. I think that since we've been going back to church again I have started to open my heart back up and am starting to see and hear Him more in my life. The Holy Spirit is getting louder! 

My meals are planned out for tomorrow. 

My fit bit alarm is scheduled to walk at work. 
My devotional and study to help me through this change of focus and lifestyle is set out for early morning reading. 

I was made to crave HIM! Oh, how I desire that craving again. I am so open to letting Him give it to me!!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Southwest Quinoa Salad

post signatureMy friend's mom made this salad for 4th of July last year and I have been dying to make it ever since. The list of ingredients and steps intimidated me, but after a day off from work today, I decided to tackle it. I cant wait to have it for lunch in the days to come and, as you can see, even my 6-year-old loved it!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

(I’ve had it with kidney beans, so I think you can substitute whatever you have)

1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups red quinoa, rinsed well if not pre-rinsed (I used regular quinoa since I didn't have red)
1 15 1/2-oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into small dice (1 1/3 cups)
1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes (I left these out b/c I don’t like them)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears) microwaved or blanched for a few seconds
1 small (or 1/2 large) red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup sliced scallions/green onions (white and light green parts)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbs plus 2 tsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp Asian chili-garlic paste
1/2 to 2/3 cup toasted pines nuts (I didn't toast them)

Combine 1 tsp salt, the cumin, coriander and cinnamon in a small bowl.

in a 3-quart saucepan, heat 1 Tbs of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the salt-spice mixture, stir well, and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the quinoa, stir again, and add 2 cups water.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water and the germ has separated from the seed, 20 to 22 minutes. (If there is a little water left, bring back to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes more to boil off the water)

Remove the pot from the heat and stir once.

Put a folded paper towel over the quinoa and cover with the pot lid again for 5 minutes.
Uncover, discard the paper towel, and transfer the quinoa to a large, shallow mixing bowl or a large baking sheet (where it will cool more quickly).

Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the black beans, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, peppers, scallions, chopped cilantro, orange juice the remaining 3 Tbs olive, lime juice, garlic, honey, chili-garlic paste, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Stir well and let sit while the quinoa cools, stirring occasionally

Combine the black bean salad with the cooled quinoa & mix thoroughly.

Taste & season as necessary (it will continue to build flavor as it sits)

Serve, garnished with the pine nuts and cilantro sprigs (if using) at room temperature or chilled, or refrigerate to serve at a cookout or potluck later.

It can be made up to a day ahead.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

School Projects

I don't like school projects because it never fails that I end up doing most of the work. I think most parents do. 

I usually see 3 types of completed school projects:

1. The Art Gallery Project
There's no way the kid touched it. In fact, mom did it at home while the kid was at school. Surprise  - look what I did today! It is done using clay and paper mache.

2. The "Can You Tell Me About It?" Project
You can barely tell what it is, but the kid did it all by him or herself. He gets an "A" for effort. 

3. The "We" Project
This is combination of 1 and 2. The parents do most of it while the kid gets distracted. The parent refuses to do it all, so parts look great and others look...ok. 

I am a number 3 parent. I refuse to do the project, but I do the measuring and planning while he fights with his brother and goes off to play. Then he traces, cuts, glues and draws. To give him some more credit, we plan it out at Michaels together, although it's more like me making suggestions and him agreeing so we can leave. 

Why am I posting about this?? 
Of course "we" have a school project due tomorrow. 
And "we" waited until the last night to finish it. 

Abraham Lincoln on a can. He really wanted him to have googley-eyes. 
Another one down in the books!

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Monday, February 16, 2015

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I last wrote - 1 year and 5 months actually. Way too much time has past for this to be a catch-up blog, but I'll do my best to hit the main points.

I did not like to get on my previous laptop. It was 7 years old, had to be plugged in, and over heated. I spoiled myself this weekend and bought a Mac Book Pro so I hope to be writing more now that I found the love of my life...the computer, not a man. Literally, I LOVE this computer!

Austin is now 9 and in the 3rd grade. He's wicked smart - genius smart - and loves to read. He played baseball the past few seasons, but is taking this season off. 

Ryan is now 6 (almost 7) and in 1st grade. His heart is so kind and he has such a gentle soul. He also has been playing baseball and is playing again this year. 

They are getting a sister in June (obviously not from me) and their dad deploys in May again so I have a long summer and fall ahead of me. Being a single mom when you share every other weekend is difficult, but nothing is like being a single mom for 6+ months without the emotional support. I feel like deployments take more of a toll on me now than when we were married. 

I am still working at the same company (3 1/2 years) and I was just promoted to Sales Operations Manager. How crazy is that! I started as a temp doing data entry and now I am a manager! I am so grateful for Facebook...because of a post I made about needing a job, an old friend from high reached out and got me this temp job that has turned into and amazing career. To top it off, her husband coaches our sons' baseball team now too!

I know you all want to hear about the man in my life...there's two and I already mentioned them. I haven't been dating since my brief stint online. I'm really happy where I am right now. I really like my independence and keeping up with kids and my job is enough right now. I get a little lonely sometimes and wish I had someone to co-parent with, share my day and my dreams with, a shoulder to cry on or just someone to hold me, but overall life is good. There's my hodge-podge catch up and until next time...

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Monday, September 9, 2013

First day of school ramblings

Both my boys started school today. Ryan still gave to lots of hugs and wanted to sit on my lap. I didn't cry...he's still my baby.

Austin went right into his second grade line and wanted me to go. Hes the one growing up so fast, but I guess that's typical for the first born.

This is the first year Austin has a single grade. While I am happy, all of his friends are in a 2\3 combo class. That makes ne sad.

Ryan was in a late owl K class from 9:30 to 1:23. I was able to switch him to 8am to 11:55, but his class size went from 12 to 18.

I love seeing all of the parents I know, but I just wish I fit in better with them. It's difficult to be a single mom in OC.

Ran into a friend from high school snd college who's daughter is going to this school now.  Super fun!

I hope I have done what is right for ny kids. Here's to another year and to focusing on learning, building good educational habits and making new friends!

Friday, September 6, 2013

End of Summer Fun!

My 7-year-old son made this video on his own. Enjoy!!!

***He moved the Minions and took the pics. I animated it in Photoshop. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

I've made it!

It's been a long time since I've blogged. Since a ton has changed, I thought I'd just start with my new house. Here are some bad pics, messy pics, but at least they are pics.    

We moved out of my parent's house after 2 1/2 years. We only moved 10 minutes away but we love it! More on the move tomorrow!