Friday, July 31, 2009

The Ugly Truth and Other Random Bits

Hi Friends! Well, I am finally back from, what felt like, a week of misery! Since Monday, I have been in so much pain. Not fun! I was taking my pain meds, but apparently they make me really drowsy and that's not usually a good thing while you're working! So I decided to stop taking them and just deal with the pain. I'm not sure what is worse, falling asleep at your desk or having excrutiating pain through your jaw, ears and every single tooth while having to sound cheery on the phone! You know, everyone said that getting my wisdom teeth out would be easy, which it was, but I got very little insight to the aftermath of it all.

Yesterday morning I was feeling so bad that my boss actually sent me home! I was so grateful because I wasn't going to ask to leave, but he insisted. So for most of the day I rested with my pain meds and for the first time in a week, I feel like myself! I made cinnamon streusel muffins for my co-workers this morning because they were so sweet to take on my load yesterday!

There were few highlights to my week, but here's what I've got...

Monday was suppose to be the sushi making class that Parris and I signed up for, but due to a scheduling conflict, the class got rescheduled to this coming Tuesday. I was so grateful for the delayed class as it will be so much better to go next week now that I'm feeling 100%! So instead, I had dinner with Parris' family and got to congratulate her little sister, Whitney, on her engagement and then Parris and I went to see The Ugly Truth! It was totally cute and I am practically obsessed with Katherine Heigl's wardrobe and adorable hair throughout the movie! And it was filmed in Sacramento:)

How fabulous are all of these dresses?!

Most every other afternoon this week was spent sleeping as I simply could not stay awake to save my life. I have no idea why I'm so tired, but I'm trying to pay attention to my body and take it slow. As an active person though, this is weird for me!

And on an apartment note, Chris cleaned our carpets Wednesday evening and I feel like it's a new place! So basically, the only thing left is switching the old fish tank out for the new one! Can't wait to post pics:)

And because I was finally feeling better last night, I made a yummy dinner for my hubby who has taken such good care of me this last week! We had a delicious stir fry and butterscotch pudding (his favorite thing!!). After dinner we ran some errands and I am absolutely giddy because I splurged on 3 new magazines! This weekend I will be savoring some downtime with, Country Living, Oxygen's Abs special (love their specials!) and Bon Appetit (usually reserved for plane rides)!! I feel so spoiled:)

Tonight we are having some friends over for dinner and Gran Torino! And this weekend I get to spend some time with my lovely friend, Lael, in San Francisco! She is living there temporarily for an internship:) I am so ready to be done with this week and move on to a fun weekend!

Hope you enjoy your weekend and happy Friday!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

GROWING Impatient!

I don't get it. I've done everything I'm suppose to. I've iced my face, taken my meds, had mostly liquid foods, no straws, plenty of water and my left cheek is still multiplying in puffiness! Call me naive, but I thought yesterday's swelling was pretty bad and that it would just go down from there. Apparently though, the home care instructions say this: "The swelling is usually the greatest on the 2nd and 3rd day after surgery and then resolves slowly". So now I've got a question: Exactly how slowly are we talking, because I have to work tomorrow? I apologize that it has come down to me whining!

You can see the left side is much worse because both teeth on that side were impacted and both on the right were already in. Oh, and I'm not really mad in this picture, I just can't do anything else with my face right now but pout! Fitting, isn't it:)

I actually have a lot to look forward to this week! And it all starts tomorrow evening with a sushi making class with Parris! I've been excited about this for several weeks now! It should be fun, let's just hope I don't walk in looking like I already have my mouth stuffed with sushi!

I think I'm going to try some coffee this morning:) After all, we've missed each other!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

From Wilson to Hercules

About seven years ago, at a Third Day concert, I made a decision to sponsor a child through Compassion International. It was one of those life changing things for me. For the first time in my life I felt like I had made a grown up commitment that could actually help someone other than myself. That child's name was Wilson and from the picture I received, I thought he looked like the coolest kid! And his birthday is two days before mine, which was also pretty cool. Over the last seven years, we have written each other letters and gotten to know about each others lives. I love knowing that he loves to play soccer, but is not so good at math. And that he loves when his family goes on vacation and after every letter he wrote he signed it "many hugs and kisses"!

About two weeks ago, I received a letter from Compassion stating that because Wilson's family situation has improved, he is no longer in the program. I was so bummed! However, I had to realize that it's a wonderful thing! Praise God that Wilson's family is now able to sustain themselves because of the help of Compassion!

In the mail today I received a packet for a new little boy that Chris and I will be sponsoring together! He is also from Brazil and his name is Hercules Alexandre:) I can't wait to see what new relationship develops between us and our new child!

I highly encourage you to think about sponsoring a child through a program like Compassion.

"Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults."

Here's a picture of Wilson. I'm gonna miss him!

And here's our new little guy Hercules.

Post-Wisdom Teeth and Beginning to Recover

So, for a little update:

My surgery pretty much went as everyone said it would. We got there and I was a bit loopy from the Valium, which meant I had absolutely no worries about what was about to happen. They took me to the room and the Dr. asked me what movies I was planning to watch while I rested this weekend and I gleefully told him, "Chick flicks of course!". He asked me to squeeze my fist a few times while he put the IV in and the next thing I knew I was stumbling to the car with the help of my husband and two nurses. Oh the amazing science of an anesthetic!

Chris has absolutely been the best caretaker! No surprise there!! The night before my surgery, we went to the store to stock up on some suitable foods, but of course there were things we forgot and he had no problem running out a few times to get my Rx and Starbucks Java Chip ice cream (my favorite and a total surprise)! And as I told the Dr., I most definitely satisfied my inner girly girl by indulging in a few chick flicks:)

Sadly, I still have not had any coffee:( I could probably manage it today, but I hardly feel it would be worth it since the way I have to drink causes me to barely enjoy the flavor of anything and that would just be irritating. Oh well, maybe tomorrow! At least I am still able to enjoy my oatmeal and scrambled egg whites!

My worst symptom thus far is definitely the famed "chipmunk cheeks" I woke up with this morning! And to go along with this attractive look, I also have a red face. I fear I could be mistaken for a 4 year old who has applied way too much of her Mom's blush:)

I see a bit of a resemblance!

Chipmunk ~

Me (in case there was any confusion!) ~

Have a happy weekend!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pre-Wisdom Teeth...and Happy Birthday!

I am feeling unexpectedly good this morning! Especially considering that my surgery is TODAY! I was nervous all day yesterday, but Chris helped take my mind off of it:) Last night we had Pita Pit for dinner and then had a long, hard workout, which helped calm my nerves! My intention was to stay up as late as I could so I would sleep pretty late this morning, but the best I could do was 6:15! I guess that's what happens when your body is used to being up at 4am!

The biggest worry on my mind now is getting hungry because my appointment is at 11:30 and I was instructed not to eat or drink anything all morning!! This is gonna be a toughie since I basically wake up hungry AND I am desperate for a cup of coffee right about now! I'll let you know how that goes:)

I also want to wish my Mom a happy birthday today!!!

Mom, you really are one of a kind! Thanks for always being a word of reason and my constant encouragement! I hope that when I have kids of my own, I can show them as much patience, kindness and unconditional love as you've always shown me! I love you most! Have fun in Milwaukee:)

Can't wait to celebrate when you get back!

A blast from the past:)

At Christmas!

Birthday shopping:)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All In Good Health

So, I've got a few things on my mind today. All related to health of course, but more what I'm thinking than anything else.

First of all, I just realized that after tomorrow, I will have 6 straight weeks of work until I have another day off. Oh Labor Day, I am impatiently waiting for you to arrive! So, I would like to propose something. I think that 4 day work weeks have the best balance. I mean really, that extra day off gives you so much time to accomplish what you need to and still get the rest needed to give it your all at work. So there it is, 4 days on and 3 days off:) Sounds like a good, healthy plan to me!

And the other thing, why is that when you seem to get on a great workout or eating routine, life sort of happens and throws a wrench in it? Seriously, so many people say this to me and I never want to admit it, but it happens to me too! For instance, I can be at the peak of a workout cycle and then suddenly get sick and be out of commission for a few days, or fail to plan my meals well and be starving at work when my coworker brings in doughnuts...ahh! You have to laugh about it and pick back up where you left off because friends, that's life for ya!

It's all about balance!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Savor the Moments

I am sometimes taken by surprise when the everyday things in life give me more pleasure than I realize. Tonight, I am in the company of my husband and our pup and I couldn't ask for more to make me happy! As if I'm not feeling good with that, the house is also clean, laundry is done, our tummies are full of yummy pasta, the coffee is set for tomorrow and our lunches are made, which makes it easy to relax! While I am on the computer, Chris is watching something related to sports and I feel perfectly content with our life:) Blissful really!

I have come to realize that savoring the moments with people you love is priceless. I found out this morning that my 93 year old great grandpa fell and broke his hip. He is probably the sweetest man you will ever meet! I am praying for his quick recovery, but the fact remains that he has lived a very full and wonderful life, which I find very comforting:)

Don't let the stresses of everyday life distract you from the good stuff:)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

She Came and Now She's Gone:(

As I knew it would, our weekend with Rebecca totally flew by! But nevertheless, it was wonderful:) She didn't get in until REALLY late Friday night, so my day off was spent running errands and getting ready for her to be here:) I even took Abby to get groomed for her Auntie:) BTW, my makeshift guest room turned out better than I could have imagined!

Not too shabby, huh?!

And almost everything you see is courtesy of my old room:) With the exception of the adorable shams, which I just had to buy for the pop of color!

Some of the highlights of our weekend include (but were not limited to):

~ chocolate chip pancakes on Saturday morning:)

~ In-N-Out

~ seeing the new Harry Potter movie!

~ Friends Scene It (no lie)

~ all day pool fun on Sunday!

Even though I wish Rebecca could have stayed longer, I am so happy she was able to visit us! I can't believe how much I miss my friend! And now she is leaving for Germany in two weeks to teach for at least a year!! Chris and I are definitely going to try and make a visit while she's there!

I must say how disappointed I am in myself for taking hardly any pictures this weekend...very unlike me!

Lame I know, but here's what I've got:

Rebecca, Parris and me (Chris was there too) at In-N-Out..the only burger I LOVE!

At Harry Potter!!

Aren't they the cutest?!

Our little fam after church on Sunday:)

What Rebecca left for us to remember her:) Lovely drawing!!:)

After a lovely 4 day weekend, I literally hit the ground running at work today! Man am I glad I only work 3 days this week!

My wisdom teeth finally come out on Friday...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All In Good Health

Today's post is on some of my favorite components to my daily snacks (or meals)!

Since I can remember, oatmeal has been a true comfort food of mine. I basically have it everyday and if I don't have it for breakfast, it is usually a part of my morning or afternoon snack. Some think it's weird, but I just think it's delicious!

A few years ago, my Mom shared her discovery of Trader Joe's frozen steel cut oatmeal with me. I was amazed at how tasty it was even though it came frozen! Which, by the way, makes it a great thing to keep at work since it takes a mere 3 minutes to heat up in the microwave. Now before you write this off as another "healthy food" you won't like, let me get to the good part. This steel cut oatmeal is lightly sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup, making it (I believe) a winner even for an oatmeal hater. Now if you happen to be a bit of an oatmeal snob like me, you should know that these taste as good as when I spend the 12 minutes cooking them over the stove! And as oats so wonderfully do, this treat offers 4g of dietary fiber to your meal. Now just add a banana or some berries and you are well on your way to the 25g recommended daily for women (30g for men). How sweet is that?

You all know how much I love my coffee, but maybe not as well known is how much I also love tea. In fact, usually after my morning fix of coffee, I switch to a few cups of tea. So today I'm going to share two of my favorite kinds. They are made by Republic of Tea (thank you, Lael) and very different from your typical green or black tea, as they are red teas made from a blend of rooibos. They are called Get Clean and Get Charged and if you are a tea drinker at all, I recommend you explore these or any of their other fantastic flavors!

Wishing you good health always!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summertime Delights

Either I'm really hungry, or Whole Foods knows exactly how to make me drool! Take a look at these!

This looks really good to me because I don't typically like traditional lunch foods, so I am always looking for something new and exciting for my mid-day meal!

Strawberry and Cucumber Sandwiches


Firecracker Chicken Salad with Pineapple and Mango

Pork Burgers with Pickled Peaches

I just have to try this:)

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Oh Whole Foods, you sure do know how to make me smile:)

Thai Lime Chicken

Well folks, Clean Eating does it again! I've quite possibly discovered the quickest, most simple meal yet! And the best thing is, I had EVERY ingredient on hand!

So here's to you on-the-go ladies (and gents) who can appreciate a quick and delicious meal:)

Thai Lime Chicken
*1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
*1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
*1 1/2 tsp ginger, ground
*1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
*1 lime

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. In a mini food processor, grind peanuts until fine, but not to paste. In a small bowl, combine peanuts, garlic powder and ginger. Place chicken on a cookie sheet and squeeze juice from lime overtop. Then roll chicken in peanut mixture until well-coated. Bake chicken in oven for 25 minutes or until no longer pink. Viola!

Along with this amazing chicken, we had a Summer Bean Salad (recipe also from Clean Eating) and brown rice. Btw, I may have made the best brown rice ever! I know rice is simple enough to make, but I've never quite gotten brown rice as fluffy and soft as I would like. While searching for brown rice tricks, I stumbled upon the Saveur website and was so pleased with the result of my findings! Here's the link to "perfect brown rice".

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Whoa Momma!

Today may have been the busiest day I've had at work! I think it became very clear to all of us that peak may be here a few weeks earlier than expected! It actually is a very good thing as my day flew by at lightning speed:)

Thankfully I will have a few days to recover from it before I plunge into our busiest season of the year, as I am off this Friday and Monday, as well as next Friday! My reason for this four-day weekend is Rebecca's visit and next weekend I am getting my wisdom teeth removed. But rest assured, I probably won't be having another day off until at least September or October! Hey, I'll be logging some good overtime:)

I am SO looking forward to the next several days of rest, getting my hair done, a pedicure, fun with Rebecca, HARRY POTTER!, margaritas and laying by the pool!! Thank you long weekends:)

Oh, I almost forgot, I came home to a very pleasant surprise today; my Studio Mela picture came in the mail! I've been anxiously checking the mail box every day the past 9 days and it finally arrived!

I absolutely love this picture! In case you can't read it, the cloud above the house says, "Where happy lives". Check out her stuff on Etsy!

Hope your day was wonderful!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gratitude With Paninis

I am convinced that the best way to end a lovely weekend is with a lovely meal, which is exactly what we did:)

We got so much accomplished this weekend! Chris is well on his way to being finished with our table, our curtains are up, the fridge is full and spotless, laundry is done, Chris even cleaned the shower(my most dreaded chore!)and I am so ready for Rebecca to be here on FRIDAY!!

Because Chris has been working so very hard to get my projects done the last few weeks, I want him to know how much I appreciate him! One of the ways I do that is with good food, so last night I made paninis and a salad for dinner and topped it off with blueberry shortcakes:)It was delicious!

This is about the extent of what Abby accomplished all weekend...laying around:)

Hope you had a great weekend!

Merry Monday:)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Abby Girl!

This post is dedicated to our sweet little (50 lb) pound puppy:) Since we don't actually know her real birthday, July 11th, the day we got her, has become her birthday. So, happy 2nd birthday sweet girl!

Anyone who has meet or even heard about Abby probably knows she is no calm dog, but she has brought more excitement and healthy chaos to our lives than we could have imagined! Life just wouldn't be the same without our spunky and enthusiastic canine:)

This was the first day I saw her at the Abilene pound! Isn't she so stinkin' cute?! I knew instantly that we had to have her, she just had so much personality!!

The day we brought her home! All 7lbs. of her:)

Always curious about things:)


Graduating from obedience school the weekend before our wedding!

Abby doing what she loves best: Playing in water and with tennis balls:)

Friday, July 10, 2009

My To Do List...

Artwork from: Studio Mela


Last night, our Mom's stopped by to see the apartment (Jeannine hadn't seen it painted yet). As she was walking around observing everything, she kept saying, "I love that. Where's it from?". My response to almost all of the questions was "Oh, it was on sale at..." or "I got a great deal at..." and to my awareness came the fact that I am and always will be a shopper! I always pride myself on the great sales I find, but the truth is, I wouldn't know about these sales if I wasn't always shopping around for them:) Ha! You know what they say, "Like mother, like daughter".

And speaking of great deals, I just got the Whole Foods email and cherries are on sale this week for $1.99/lb! Do you know what a great deal that is?! Can't wait to dig into a big bowl of these this weekend!

I think I've finally caught up on my sleep because yesterday was the first day all week I haven't needed a nap when I got home! I was so productive and it felt so good:) I actually got around to making the banana bread I've been talking about. I had a piece for breakfast this morning and I definitely think it's worth trying! Because it doesn't have as much added sugar as many recipes, it's a little less sweet(obviously), but it calls for a mixture of turbinado sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on top and, oh my, that was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth!

And baking just wouldn't be complete without a chick flick, so I watched Pride and Prejudice and I was reminded once again of my crush on Mr. Darcy! Seriously, does that movie ever get old?

And one last thing: Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Another Little Glimpse

So we've come to a point in the apartment where the only things to be done are the dining room table, the fish tank and cleaning the carpets. While I'm relieved that everything else is basically done, the remaining jobs are ones I can't help with! Talk about frustrating! Chris is painting a table we bought a few months ago and he is going to set up his new fish tank, both projects I am helpless for:(

All in all,I am loving how it's all coming together:) I'm getting so ansy to post pictures of the WHOLE thing, but I don't want you to see it before it's perfect!

If all goes as planned, we should be done by mid next week:)

Just wanted to give you another peak into the finished "details".

Another one of my dining room wall because I just love it SO much!

My cookbooks and panini press now very easily accessible and out of the way:)The colorfulness makes me happy!

Maybe the most gratifying improvement of all, our filing sytem. We so needed to get organized!

I now have a magazine library! I got this idea from better Homes and Gardens:)

Another garage sale find (my $5 mirror). I love it!

And finally, my dresser:)

The funny thing is, if you've never been to our house, you wouldn't notice many of the improvements. I can't tell you how much time I've spent organizing and deep cleaning (things I definitely notice!). Simple things like cleaning out our closet ended up taking almost 3 hours! What I thought would be 30 minutes cleaning out old clothes, turned into an overhaul of junk that's piled up over a year! But now, when the rest of the house overwhelms me, I just walk into the closet and feel instant gratification:)

Hope your Thursday is wonderful!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And the Husband of the Year Goes to...

I had a very interesting morning indeed! As I told you the other day, I have had a lot of trouble getting to bed at a decent time, but this week I have made a special effort to get at least 6 1/2 hours of sleep. Good job Me:) Wouldn't you know something would throw me off?

I have always been a vivid dreamer. I almost always remember my dreams, however, whatever was playing out in my head this morning must have been intense because it made me pop out of bed. Assuming it was my alarm that woke me up, I turned on the shower and started brushing my teeth, only to realize it was only 2:30! Ha! So I laughed it off and gratefully snuggled up with my husband for another hour and a half...

The next time I woke up I felt pleasantly rested and, again, turned on the shower. This time I noticed that the clock read 5:15. Uh oh, I am usually walking out the door at that time!! A little stunned I froze and started frantically saying to Chris, "It's 5:15, I'm so late! How did I sleep in?".

This is where his heroic actions come in. At least they were heroic to me:)

Understand that Chris is the heaviest sleeper EVER and it can be near impossible to wake him up. So you can see how it surprised me when he jumped out of bed and immediately said, "How can I help you?". He made me coffee (this is usually done the night before, but I was to tired last night)and toast, put my lunch together and kept me calm as I managed to make myself look decent!

Thankfully I leave at 5:15 as a bumper, in case I need to stop for gas or coffee and basically to get settled before 6. So leaving at 5:30 got me to work with 3 minutes to spare:)

As if he wasn't helpful enough already, he brought me oatmeal and a skinny latte when he came into work, which just totally made my morning! I just love him and his ability to keep me calm and grounded. He get's husband points for this one!

What a stud!

A Must Read...Seriously!

The very first friend I made in college is one of few I know will always be in my life. Lael lived in the room next to me our freshman year and instantly we formed a bond over our scepticism of our new temporary home, Texas. She too was from the West Coast so she understood and completely felt my pain of "Texas food" and the lack of trees and picturesque scenery. We knew we had been spoiled from living in such beautiful places, her Washington and I California, but together we learned how to appreciate the unique beauty that Abilene possesed.

Over the years, we have lived close, far, very far, spent a semester in Oxford, many mornings working out together, just as many hours cooking up new and favorite creations, too many coffees to remember, she witnessed Chris and I getting married as a lovely bridesmaid and countless things in between.

I was recently catching up on her blog, One Hungry Soul, and I came across this post. You seriously MUST read it! I am always amazed at the way her words just flow. She truly is a fantastic writer!

My friend, you are a lovely woman of so many gifts! Thank you for always being so quick to listen and offer a word of encouragement:)

Here's to friends!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dreaming of Far Away Places...

Sunshine, tropical breeze, humidity, mid 70's, gardenia filling the air...

Are you with me? I am dreaming of Hawaii this morning! And until I was 10 years old, I had the privelege of experiencing these things every day. Yep, I once called this popular vacation spot my home:)

I can honestly say that Hawaii is my "happy place". There is simply nothing like it and its laid back atmosphere. After all, most of my childhood memories and our wedding (and honeymoon) took place there:):):)

So, what's got paradise on my mind this morning? Well, I should probably confess something to you...When I get ready in the morning I have the tendency to watch Saved by the Bell:) Don't laugh, I mean, what else is on from four to five in the morning?? This mornings episode just happened to be filmed there:) In addition to my grade school throw back, my coworker is currently in Maui on his honeymoon. So you can see how my mind could drift to such things.

I can't wait to visit again, but until then I'll leave you with some sweet memories...


Happy Tuesday!

Wedding photos by: Stephen Ludwig
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