Thursday, July 26, 2012

finally clean of sugar!

do you know that sugar is an addiction? well, it is. here is one of the many articles on this subject.
i am one of the people with this problem. well, i was. i had to have sugary snacks all the time. i didn't feel full if i didn't have at least one dessert-like food item at least once a day. usually several a day. i would even eat a bowl of cereal or some chocolate chips to get a fix. i stopped keeping cookies and other sweet snacks in my home, but that didn't stop me. i told myself several times i was going to stop but never followed through. my husband and i counted calories on our phones, and that helped us see exactly how much we were consuming, but it didn't help me with my little problem (which i didn't think was a problem!). but that didn't help me lose some extra weight i had gained. i just kept going up and down. one day i googled "how to stop eating so much sugar" and soo many articles about sugar addiction came up. i took in all i could, and it hit me that i had a problem. i determined to go home and never eat sugar again, went home and ate a powdered donut my husband had bought. good job!
a couple days later i was eating a candy bar and suddenly felt guilty. i went home, read some more articles, and decided to go seven days without eating any sugar at all. i tell about those seven days in the video below, and about how i felt afterwards.  i feel great now, i feel like i'm in control of my body and what i eat, not the other way around. the key to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is diet. more so than exercise! i hope this video inspires you if you feel like you have a similar problem! you too can feel this way!

Friday, July 20, 2012


summer is flying by! this summer i was selected to sit on a grand jury for 5 weeks. only 2 weeks left now! it has been a really amazing and educational experience! i am learning a lot, hearing some terrible things, and feeling like i'm contributing something to society. but it also rearranges my schedule and this throws me off.
this week has been a little bit stressful. this weekend will be the third in a row i have an event to help out with. i haven't been able to have lunch with my husband as much as i usually get to. the weather is terrible. the sun is gone, it's even chilly!
 we have a wedding this saturday that my husband is ushering in and i'm helping with the setup/teardown. last night we set up the reception area and tonight is the rehearsal. i din't get very much sleep last night because i had to work early.  we didn't have much of a dinner because we had to go right to the church. same thing tonight.
i suppose i am a routine person, so if one or all of my routine is disrupted, i get a little stressed and quite anxious. then i don't feel like doing anything! so i've just been going around, doing the bare minimum but not accomplishing much. not working out. not folding the laundry.
but, life goes on of course. life is made of exciting moments, new adventures, lessons, helping others with something like wedding plans. there isn't a lot of room for routines. yet, i need something to hold onto! something to keep me grounded in all the crazy things that come our way.
since i was feeling a little stressed, i decided i needed to clean up the apartment. just a little bit. pick up the clothes, do the dishes and do a quick vacuum. a messy, cluttered home makes me more stressed than i already am. does this happen to you?
with order restored, i know that, even though we won't be home for most of tomorrow, when we wake up everything will be nice and clean. and when we get home, we will come home to a clean, uncluttered, stress-free home. cleaning your apartment might not be your idea of stress relief, it might not seem like the answer, but it works for me. it's how i decompress this bottled up anxiety i
am holding onto.
my husband will be coming home a little early, so we can have a routine real donner!
now with a few hours till dinner, i can work out! *sigh* i feel better already!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

waffles and wildflowers. (no falafel)

 well, i attempted to make my falafel i talked about, but i ended up burning it... smoke detector went off and everything. word to the wiser than me, when you are cooking something in hot oil, don't turn your back to shape pita bread dough. make the pita bread before or after the thing on the stove. so we ended up going to five guys when ez came home, after a few tears from me. it was interesting. i was really looking forward to falafel!

i did make some really good waffles saturday morning. i used a recipe from my vintage better homes and garden's cookbook, sour cream waffles. they turned out really good. they were light and fluffy, and i put some fresh strawberry slices on them. the batter is a little thicker than i'm used to for wallfles, but once you add the egg white it really fluffs up the batter and it's easier to pour out. speaking of waffles, someday i want to try experimenting with "savory" waffles instead of sweet breakfast-type waffles. anyone ever done this?

sour cream waffles
1 cup sifted flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp baking powder
i'm not really sure what year this is from, i'm guessing the 50's
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
3 tbsp melted butter
1 stiff-beaten egg white

mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl. mix next ingredients up to egg white. add to flour mixture. fold in egg white and cook in waffle iron. makes 4 waffles
i took a jog and decided to pick some weeds by the side of the road and put them in a jar. i like this look, i find it very rustic and unfussy.

enjoy what's left of your weekend!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Vegetarianism

summer has finally reached the northwest. when it get to be hot here, ez and i like to cut back on the amount of meat we eat. we don't have air conditioning in our apartment, and we eat primarily at home, plus meat makes us feel sluggish. all of these factors make light meals in the summer the logical choice.
i cook a variety of meals, mostly mediterranean inspired. i though it would be fun to share my summer meals with my blog readers and youtube viewers! so, i will be making videos and posting about what i made for dinner. maybe not every day, but i will try my hardest to be diligent in my posting! stay tuned, because tonight is falafel, which is superrr yummy stuff!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grocery Shopping

H\hello dear readers! here is my second healthy eating video, my tips on grocery shopping for healthy eating on a budget.
took me long enough, didn't it!?
june was a good month, my husband graduated from college and got a new job! i will post pics of the graduation party i threw, i'm pretty proud of it.
hope you enjoy the video and your summer is going great!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eating Healthy

hey all! did everyone have a wonderful memorial day? my family went to the military cemetery to visit my grandpa. it was really nice, there were little flags on every grave and a lot of people. i brought a sunflower to place on the grave. i can't believe it's been a month! after that i spent * hours messing around on the computer making the invitation for my husband's graduation party. i'm really with how it turned out. only 2 weeks till he is done! hallelujah!
well, i have a new video up, part one in a 2-part series where i go over the basics of eating healthy. this is mostly my own knowledge i've gleaned. i know the whole world of health food is vast and extensive. i hope you can find something in it for yourself. enjoy!

happy tuedsay!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

DIY Ribbon Strap Shoes

i have this thing where i can't walk in heels that don't have buckles. they can be the correct size, but i just can't seem to keep them on my feet. my mom got me a really nice pair of shoes from a thrift store, but of course they were buckle-less pumps. so, i got this brilliant idea i'm going to share with you! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Loving Me for Me

i think i am finally figuring out the person i am, and learning to be ok with that person.
my personality type is melancholy. melancholies are introverted, reserved, thoughtful. they are artistic and creative in poetry and art. melancholies tend to worry or focus on problems and the downside of things. they do not do well at social functions. they would much rather spend time alone.
 i am not an outgoing person, i am not very social, i love to stay at home and do my own thing. i have friends, and i love them. i love spending time with my family. but I have to force myself to call my friends, go to parties, and invite people over for dinner. I would much rather spend time at home with my husband doing my own thing. my husband is also this way, which works out great.

Friday, May 18, 2012

my herb garden

i wanted to share with you my little herb garden. now, all my life i have been a brown thumb. potted plants last maybe a week with me. but, i decided i really wanted to have my own herb garden and i really pushed myself to make it happen. i read all kinds of articles and watched youtube videos on the subject. now, i have a tiny apartment with a balcony that gets a sliver of sunlight, so i wasn't sure it would work out.
i started with a set of lavender seeds in a pot i got marked wayy down. that way, i figured if they die, it's not like i spent all my savings on it. when the seeds sprouted, i did a little dance all around my apartment, then went on to oregano and parsley seeds. the parsley went really well, the lavender started ok then died, and the oregano sprouted but didn't get as high as the parsley so i chucked it. 
i  ended up buying rosemary, oregano, thyme, peppermint and sage plantings at trader joe's. i planted them in old tea tins. i threw a few rocks in the bottom, filled it with soil and coffee grounds for fertilizer, planted and prayed. well, they are thriving! i've picked and dried little cuttings of all of them and have been using them all spring. i don't get a huge amount, but what i get is perfect for 2 people to eat fresh and have enough to dry for later.

  i also put some garlic cloves in an old bowl and now have garlic chives!

it is such a satisfying feeling to go onto your deck, pick some oregano and throw it in your salad. it tastes so good because you grew it!  i never knew i could know this satisfaction. i never thought i would be a plant person, but here i am. i have a garden!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


i posted this video a couple weeks ago, just didn't link it here. o well, better late than never! my recipefor fajita marinade. enjoy!

"penny" moments

new video up. are you embracing the little moments every day has to offer? you should be! take in your daily dose of serendipity today!

ps- in this video you can see how my flexi rods turned out!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

curlers for curly hair

i ordered some flexi rods on amazon, and they came today! those of you who know me know i have serious kinky curly hair. it's pretty unruly. now you might be htinking "so why do you need curlers??" well, to make every curl uniform, of course. i don't think it's cheating to use curlers on curly hair.
 the first i heard of flexi rods was a youtube video i stumbled across by an african american woman. i couldn't get this out of my head and had to have these things at all costs. so i scored some. woot! the only thing is, i tried to look for a sign of white people using them, but found nothing on the internet. o well, i'll just be a pioneer!
 i'm going to was my hair tonight and sleep in them. i cant wait to see what happens! it's either going to be a glorious success or a total failure. fingers crossed!

if you have curly hair, here is some advice i've gleaned from years having it:
  1. get rid of your brushes. brushy is not your friend, she's your frenemy. you need a comb in like every size available
  2. get rid of shampoo and just use conditioner.
  3. use a leave-in conditioner. i use the shea butter one. i recommend shopping for hair products in the ethnic hair care section of the store.
  4. do. not. touch. your. hair. when. it's. dry. ninja kick anyone that tries to!
  5. let your hair air dry. 
  6. love your hair and it will love you back!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

to live is christ, to die is gain!

**warning** sad post

these past couple weeks have been difficult for my family. on sunday april 29, my grandfather passed away. he went into the ICU on friday and they determined he had suffered a heart attack and they couldn't do anything but make him comfortable. to my family, this was a shock but at the same time, it wasn't. my papa had alzheimer's. so in a way, for the past year or so, we were already saying goodbye as we watched him slip away. but when my dad called me on friday saying they were going to the hospital, i just thought he would be back in action and in church next sunday. the next sunday, in the middle of our church service, he went on to heaven. my sisters and I gathered around his bed on saturday night and sang him hymns. i will always treasure that time.
at first i was fine. i was happy that he was in heaven and not hooked up to machines and in discomfort. then reality sank in. there is a huge void left in my life. he had a smile and laugh like no other. he was brilliant, wise, and kind. my papa wasn't just another old man. he was a minister, a scholar, a teacher, a christian. you only had to meet him once to see the love of jesus reflected in his smile.
he taught me to love the word of god, the value of praying for your family every day, and the how beautiful and important a relationship with god can be. he didn't sit me down and drill these ideals into me. he showed me in his everyday life. he left me a great legacy, not an inheritance of wealth or land, but a legacy of ministry that began with his parents and continued with my mom and dad and will, lord willing, continue with me. i have a goodly heritage! now he has reached the end we are aiming for. i am so so happy for him!
because of the prayers of my grandfather, i know i was kept from harm. because of those prayers my mind and heart are looking to jesus.
i feel that right now, 2 weeks later, i am fine, i have accepted the truth. i know i will go through periods of sorrow in the months to come. my husband's grandfather died almost 2 years ago, and my other grandmother died a month after him. i know how it feels, but every person leaves a different mark on you. you have to mourn for everyone in a different way.

if you are going through loss right now, i know no words can soothe your pain, but i want to share a scripture with you that has been helpful to me:
  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Thursday, April 5, 2012

back from vacation. and doing nothing is good for you

we just got back from a relaxing coastal vacation. unless you've been to the oregon coast, you really don't understand how it is. it's not your typical beach vacation. but it's just perfect for getting away from it all and taking in quiet reflection. i made a video about coming back and my reasons for needing (needing!) the vacation.

while i was there, i was contemplating what the most relaxing thing a person can do is. i decided that whatever, it is, i want to do it on every vacation to get the most relaxation value for my time. i suppose the answer is different for every person. for me, it's a relaxing bath. so that's exactly what i did when we got home! worked like a charm. in this current time and american society, completely relaxing is difficult for us. i know when i try to relax by reading on the couch i
  1. feel guilty for not doing some sort of housework. there is a glass in the sink that needs to be washed! 
  2. grab my phone and check facebook. for what? am i expecting important news? no, just cause.
  3. get up and do something else. something that requires using my hands. my attention span is so short,  i can't even sit and relax by doing nothing. 
 here is a link to the article i'm talking about

i know i am totally overstimulated, and i'm trying to work on that because i know that's part of my issue. i just need to let go and surrender! why is it so hard?!
so, what makes you relax?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lovely Saturday

Today has been one of those rare, blissful Saturdays. Sleeping in, Starbucks breakfast, first day of the farmer's market, walking around downtown and getting our special cinnamon hot chocolate. The day will end with a family St. Patrick's Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage and a birthday celebration for my sister, though her birthday is actually Tuesday.
Being from Chicago, St. Patrick's Day has always been a big deal, even though we aren't catholic. I think I just liked the huge parade, dying the Chicago River green, drinking green river pop and eating corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes and plenty of mustard! But out here in the pacific northwest, where there aren't as many people of Irish descent, it's not such a big deal. It's just another day to everyone.  Today, as I was looking for spots of green on people (and not seeing a lot!) I was trying to contemplate why I even acknowledge this holiday. I am not catholic, only partly Irish (altogether, I think I'm half) and I don't drink so the idea of drinking "green beer"is just repulsive. I suppose it's the idea of festivities that I enjoy. It's just one of those extra holidays to break up the mid-winter blues, have a special meal, and wear green. I like the idea of everyone wearing something in the same color on the same day. It's something small that, for a day, unites a random group of people. It's not about making a political statement, or a religious stance, or awareness for some disease; it's just a festive day that people can celebrate. Yes, it is considered a religious holiday, but it's still a fun day of spontaneous celebration! And, the idea of everyone having to wear green is pretty awesome to me, cause green is the best color, so everyone should wear it every day anyway. So, those are my thoughts on this holiday.
 Of course, there wasn't a vast array of vegetables at the market, but I was able to score my favorite salad mix! I put together a little video showing my haul and how I wash and store my vegetables. Have a gander!

ps-this video doesn't show it very well, but my sweater is actually kelley green, not hunter. just wanted to clarify!
pps-first video on the ipad! lol

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kitchen Introduction

Are you new to the world of cooking? If so, you may want to check out my latest video, a look at some essential kitchen tools you need to start cooking like a grown-up! I also give my own personal "3 cooking rules" Hope this helps you figure out some things you will need and don't need in your kitchen! of course, if you're an accomplished cook, you most likely know all about what I go over.
This was my first experience editing a video!
ps- I hate the thumbnail option youtube gave me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Adventures

Lots of new changes going on around here...

1. I am coming back to blogging!
2. I am not going to interior design school. Long story short, I don't want that career anymore. I  have different goals now and I'm happy
3. While I am back to blogging, I will mostly  be "vlogging"! I'll post my videos here and on my youtube channel. follow me!
4. I'm doing something I've wanted to do for a while- make videos of things I do like I'm teaching you how to do them too! Like my own variety show. woot! It shall be a fun adventure. 

It's nice to know the world still revolves even when we drop out of it for a while. It teaches us that we can go on from anything. That we can pick up where we left off and not have to feel like a failure. 
Thanks for reading!