Thursday, June 14, 2012

Something for me

This week, I had big plans to finish a couple projects for some people we are visiting with over the next 2 months... and I didn't (yet) get any of them done! 

I have however made a couple things for me! Inspired by my favorite clothing designer, Andrea at  Gaia Conceptions , but unable to afford anything quite yet... I made my own! Here is my version of the Love me two times below the knee skirt/dress. I saved about $70!! 

I can't say that I got it perfect, but it is VERY comfy, and oh so versatile! It is a longer strapless dress, a shorter strapless dress, or just a skirt with a folded over waistband (below).
I even made another of the same version the next day... it is all brown and made from a little bit different knit, so I might have to fix it before our trip.
But then, I probably wouldn't get the other little projects I want to get done, done.... we will see what wins out!

Also, we are in the process of getting our house refinanced, so that is a big deal for us! We are going from a 6.5% rate to a 4.5%!!! So excited for that. But it does require a bit of paperwork to be done, so that will be fun while we are on the road!

PLUS, I am trying to get all registered to take some classes in the fall. I think I have done most of the legwork needed, but who knows... I am trying hard to just make it happen and quit putting it off. If I start school now, and get a bunch of the prerequisites done, I might be able to start nursing school in fall of 2013! We will see if that actually happens too, though!

The kids are excited to start school when they get back (RIGHT when we get back!) but right now, all they can think about is our trip. Colton is trying to imagine his birthday party, and wrap his mind around all the things we are doing on our way to Oregon, and what we are going to do when we get there. It will be busy, and fun. 

Soren is crawling all over the place, and finally discovered the stairs, so gates are once again in our lives. Too bad they aren't the nice ones we made in Montana. I loved those gates... most of the time!

So I think I am deciding to NOT blog while I am on "vacation". It will be hard to do anyways from the Ipad, so I think I will just let it go, and then fill in the blanks when we get back. But do not worry... it is only 2 months. I will probably do one more post before we leave though.

FYI:: I am back on Facebook, but I promise not to be on there too much!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A smoothie recipes...

This one is for Erica (and Ben maybe, too) the green smoothie "recipe"

The trick is... There is no set recipe! I seriously just use what I have. BUT I do have to say, we usually have spinach or kale around, and some sort of frozen fruit (cold green smoothies are ALWAYS better!)

So here is the basics:
 *handful (or two) of some kind of greens... Spinach, lettuce, kale, collard greens, anything.
 *about a cup of frozen fruits (we usually use a berry mix, mangos, blueberries, etc...
 *any other fruit or veggie you have laying around that you think could taste good, such as lemon (yumm!!) or lime, bananas, oranges, peaches, sprouts, carrots, avocado (makes it really creamy), you get the picture. We tend to use the fruit that is about to be tossed, but not always.
 *either juice or water... I use enough to cover the blades on the blender to kind of give it an easier time.

Some other additions to add something else to it: yogurt, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, wheat germ, nuts, protein powder, oh, the possibilities are endless!

Another hint, if you have produce that is nearing its end, wash it and dry it, if necessary, then put it in a Baggie a pop it in the freezer. I do this a lot with my greens, when they are on sale or I just happen to buy too much or something.
Also, if you freeze avocados or bananas, peel them will help when you take them out.

That's our basic smoothie recipe! I will try to add more recipes... We just got an iPad, so I am figuring how to blog from it, so I can blog from our trip (that we leave for in ONE week!!!)


This boy is trying so hard to grow up as fast as he can! Today he has been trying to stand up. And I mean letting go! He JUST learned to crawl! He also has been saying Mama when he is whiny and trying to get me to pick him up... Oh, just slow down, my little 8 month old! Just hold your horses.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The crazy Vegan diet

I don't have any pictures for this post at he moment... I just wanted to chat about my vegan experience this month. I started this "thing" a little over three weeks ago, and let me just say, I feel amazing.
I have "cheated" here and there, but I did not stray very far or very often. (although, I did not give up chocolate this whole time!) The course that I signed up through has provided some fantastic recipes and information that I really find quite appealing and the results are pretty nice too.

I have lost about 5 lbs in these 3 weeks, which really isn't surprising to me at all. I have upped my running and changed my diet, which is a no brainier for weight loss. But it is the way I feel too. I feel like I have more energy, and feel all around, MORE healthy from the inside, out.

I have been surprised with how delicious a lot of the recipes are, and KNOW that I will continue to use them (and try to convince Tyler that meat is not necessary at every meal!) I just got finished watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. So much of the information, I already agreed with, but some great added knowledge on my part too. It really emphasizes a plant based diet, and I'm starting to agree wholeheartedly. But I am ready to compromise too.

Tyler and I had a conversation about our meal planning just today and how to budget a bit better for it. We came up with the idea of eating the same basics Monday through Friday, and a change up on the weekends. So I think my compromise will be eating vegan-ish on the weekdays, and get our meat fix on the weekends with good cuts of meat. If you take a general approach, saying Monday will be spaghetti, Tuesday will be tacos, Wednesday will be oatmeal, Thursday will be beans and rice and Friday will be pizza, and then just get creative weekly with diffent variations, I think this could work very well. And make it easier on me for menu planning! Then on the weekends have some wild Alaskan salmon on Saturday and a BBQ chicken salad on Sunday... Everyone should be happy, right?

You know who I really wish would give this "diet" a try? My parents. Mom and Dad, come stay with. Us for a m onto, and see how/if this changes anything for you.... If it does, GREAT! If it doesn't, well, you could cross it off your list! I worry about your guys' health on a daily basis. And I truly believe you would benefit from a diet change. Love you guys!

So there is my ramblings... Hope I haven't scared any of you. Are you going to look at your current diet a bit harder now? Do you feel good every day? Do you want a change? I have a few recipes I could pass on to get you started! Like blueberry breakfast muffins... And an avocado and white bean wrap. An amazing peanut sauce.
Oh, and I ran 5 miles yesterday, with a smile on my face, and felt FANTASTIC! That book i read, Born to Run, made such an impact on me. Today I took my first Texas yoga class, and really enjoyed it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dress up

I absolutely love when the kids play dress up...
I try to give them free reign on anything in the house, and Ayla grabbed onto my lovely Navy hat (I hated wearing that thing during my Navy days!!)

Colton saw Tyler with a walkie talkie one day when he came home for a quick lunch, and right away he had to make one... too bad it was bedtime (he was really bummed). But the moment he woke up, he was ready to make that thing! I only taped his for him, and he figured out the rest. 

Ayla took the easy way, and asked her daddy to make one for her!
It was so cute when Colton was asking me about it though. He said, "Mom, will you help me make the honkey donkey?" with a look on his face that said he knew he wasn't saying it right, but he was close!! 

So funny! I was laughing so hard!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lots of swimming; lots of lounging; lots of fun...
that was our Memorial Day weekend camping trip at Lake Possum Kingdom, here in Texas.

The first two days, our awesome friends, the Lucas', were with us, and then they decided to pack up early because of the heat (or maybe we smelled too bad?!) and headed home on Sunday. But then the Shepherds joined us for some camping.
The kids really loved swimming there and it was hard to get the older two out of the water! Kellen likes to sit on the beach and play, and Soren LOVES the water... he could sit and splash for hours.

You know, trying to camp while doing the vegan diet was a little different, but we really just planned pretty well. Here is what we had::
Our first night, the Lucas' (Monica really, who are we kidding, did all the cooking!) made chicken kabobs, and I just took the chicken off and had the veggies in a tortilla.
Second night, we shared with our campmates some Black Bean, Quinoa Chili that I had made the day before we left. The kids all ate it, and the adults all enjoyed it as well, although, I am pretty sure some wouldn't have minded some meat thrown in there!
And the third night, we had Spicy Black Bean burgers (from the store) with a Thai Coleslaw... really, I thought we ate pretty well!
We always do oatmeal for breakfast (and hot chocolate), and peanut butter and something for lunches, making it pretty easy to relax most of the time(as you can see from all the time spent in our wonderful hammock!) Paired with these, this hammock is AWESOME! One of the kids (12 year old) even slept in it!)

We did have some noisy neighbors, some ant bites, and a bit of a stomach bug, but really a fantastic camping trip.

We headed home by way of the Fort Worth area so that we could catch a Mariner (against the Rangers) game. Unfortunately, the M's lost, but we were okay with that. Tyler is a die-hard fan, and any baseball in the real form is good enough for him!
Heading home from there, we had a little potty accident (seriously, Colton! A 5 second warning that you have to go pee, before actually peeing all over your carseat, is NOT enough time!!!) But we managed to take care of that before heading home to Abilene through the storm that was headed for us! Lots of wind and rain and lightning, but we made it!

I am loving (still) my new haircut! It is pretty short, and pretty light... 
Our neighbor just had a baby (her 5th!) this morning at home in their house... I kept thinking all morning (because two of her kids were at our place) A BABY IS BEING BORN ON OUR STREET! It was a neat feeling. And the baby is SO cute! They were hoping for a boy (they have one of those, and three girls all 5 years old and under!) but were happy with a sweet baby girl! 

I am sitting here writing this blog with my own sweet little boy sitting on my lap, not showing any signs of bedding down for the night (It is 730pm!) ... we will see how this goes.

I think we will research IPads a little bit more.

Oh, and the running bit is going awesome! I recently read "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall, and put some of what I learned into practice. Instead of running to get it over with, I started running because I can; and it is wonderful. I know it sounds corny, but I started making an effort to run with smile on my face, and it actually makes it more enjoyable and easier to run that 3 miles! By the ay, awesome book and highly recommended by me!

Being off of Facebook has been wonderful, in case any of you were wondering. I find myself with more time on my hands, and less clutter in my mind. Although it does hinder keeping in touch with some people.

REST IN PEACE Uncle Jeff! You will be missed. I remember you as the cool, Harley riding uncle, who always took the time to say hi to us, even when we were little. I have very fond memories of just being around you and your family. One of my favorites is that other house you guys used to live in with the big garden across the street that you tended. I loved going over there and watching how you grew your plants and what not. We ran through those garden rows all the time. Thanks for being a great Uncle.

Enjoy your weekend

(And Monica, in case you are wondering, the reason I don't really have pictures up of you guys is for one, I only had a couple, and for two... I wasn't sure if you wanted them roaming the internet....)