31 January 2012

A Life-long Commitment: Our Humble Diet


Since the start of the new year, our diet has been completely, one-hundred percent meatless and a lot healthier. Despite some bad choices lately, (i.e. veggie pizza two nights in a row and calzones loaded with mozzarella and ricotta cheese---those have to be sinful!), we're still feeling better for the most part. And my digestive system is slowly improving. Slowly but surely. And slow is better than I've been getting, believe me!

I've been stuck like glue to the 'Engine 2 Diet' book I bought last week and I find myself frequenting Alicia Silverstone's 'The Kind Diet' blog. I'm so inspired that everything they do/live for, I'm just stuck. I have no idea where to begin. Some of the foods they discuss are so foreign to me.  I hear a lot of you talking about quinoa, spelt and tofu---how do I cook them? If I'm in a rush or on a tight budget one week, how do I get a hold of them? Hence why we've been eating on what seems to be a 3-day repeat. Nevertheless, I'm researching (well, er, googling!) nonstop, trying to come up with not-so fancy-schmancy dinners, but simple and attainable things that my toddler will enjoy. I've found some pretty awesome recipes, like homemade crock-pot vegetable stew and homemade black bean burgers that Bop and I are super excited to try. Things that give us a little nudge of reassurance! WE GOT THIS.

We've also been budgeting a time-schedule for some intense workouts. Now that Papa is working close to 70 hours a week and I'm logging in at the high 40's, we're struggling to find the common hours to devote to being together, never mind heading to the gym! But after sitting down and making up a schedule (kind of like a work one!) we've found 10 available hours a week that are reasonable, do-able and workable. This is exciting. Because every time I step foot in or out of that gym, I know I'm doing a good job. And the feeling I get once I burn some unnecessary post-baby fat is just wonderful.

So here's to a lifelong commitment to a good, whole lifestyle. I plan on working hard to make a positive change in my life. And with some severe dedication and the support from all of you, I know we'll make it.

27 January 2012

One Week Clean-Eating Challenge


After performing my daily read on Miss Danielle's blog, I came across this little post about the 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge and I thought it was great! As most of you know, we've just recently switched to a healthier diet (which we plan to progress to vegan soon!) and this would definitely jump start the process. It's nothing too drastic, just seven days of pure, earth-grown fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.

Join me on making it a deliciously healthy week?


26 January 2012

Pinterest-ing Wednesday {v.7}



Hola, blogging world! I know I'm a bit behind on my pinning, but that's because everyone at my work was taking their vacations this week, so this mama was covering and covering and covering all the left over shifts. But I'm back! And with good news. My pin boards have expanded! Now I have eight boards for you to peek at! I told y'all, I just love Pinterest too much. Here are my top EIGHT pins of the week! Enjoy.


For Mama: Yep, you guessed it. Bikini season is coming up quickly, so I'm in full gear towards a smaller midsection. Though I'm not the bikini type, I'd still like to rock a cute little one piece. I'm sure you ladies can relate.

For Papa: He's been wearing long sleeve dress shirts on the daily. He knows how much I love a nice, clean cut, freshly shaven man in jeans and a dress shirt. And I know how much he loves that I love it too.

For Kiri: I really can't wait to buy another sewing machine and get to making her some clothing. Since, you know, I spend way too much money at the local boutiques for her ever-changing (and ever-stained) clothing.

For The Home: Crisp white sheets. I want, I want, I want. I was always afraid of spending so much money on white bedding because we were co-sleeping and I didn't want Kiri to dirty them, but now that she's in her own room, I'd like to invest in some. Any thoughts?

NEW! For Cooking: Since choosing to go vegetarian, I thought it'd be a neat idea to start a board that pins all types of recipes and such. That way I can find some neat little websites and online cookbooks. And I have! This recipe for making homemade pickles? Perfection.

For Celebration: As most of you know, Valentine's Day is right around the corner! I love this holiday, especially since it falls just a week before my birthday, but also because it's a chance to do something special and show off homemade gift-making skills. Kiri and I are planning on making 24 homemade, handmade V-Day cards for our closest family and friends. Email me at fortsawyer@gmail.com if you'd like one! 

NEW! For Travelling: Will always be home to me! And I can't wait to head here for two weeks in June! 

For Inspiration: What's not inspirational about a classic-style Volkswagen?! [I mean, really!]

If you'd like, you can follow my pinboards, here.

25 January 2012

New Read, Better Life


After watching the movie 'Forks Over Knives', I was made more aware of the fact that some of my medical and physical conditions may in fact be the result of the toxins I'm putting in my body, so I decided to make a change and try vegetariansim (which will progressively turn into veganism). I'm tired of the stomach pains, the chronic fatigue and the depression. I want better for myself and for my little family. So, we decided that in 2012, we were going to omit meat from our diet.

Today is Day 25, and I feel amazing. I don't drink as much coffee (I'm currently making the switch to Tazo tea!), I'm up earlier in the day and I don't have the massive cramps and bathroom (or not-bathroom) issues. While I watched the 'Forks Over Knives' movie, Rip Esselstyn's testimonial really touched me. For the past three years, I've been begging Robert to join me on a plant-based diet, but have always been unsuccessful because a) his mother lived with us & she was a "cook-a-meal-for-20-when-there-is-only-four-of-us" kind of Italian woman and b) I couldn't find any solid proof that you could be a man, not eat meat and still gain muscle. Not anymore though. With the Engine 2 Diet, this man proved the opposite.

I was super bummed that I had to work last week when he was due to visit Whole Foods-Jacksonville. I really wanted Bop to hear first hand how easy his journey was and how much it changed his life. But yesterday, I found a package on my stoop and turns out, Papa ordered it for us instead! I'm so unbelievably happy and so isn't Papa! He's such an inspirational man and we simply cannot wait to divulge into this book.

I'll let you know what I think!

24 January 2012

Kiri Says What?!


Kiri: "Mommy, if I had a boyfriend, would Daddy beat him up?"

Me: "It's a very good possibility."

Kiri: [Dialing on her pretend cell phone] "Um, boyfriend, don't tell my daddy we're in a wee-lationship. He will beat you up."

-______-



22 January 2012

Peek-A-Boo Springtime


Well well, Springtime. Thank you for making a sun-shiny appearance today! 70* with bright blue skies and a small ocean breeze? We'll take it.

A Gift For Mine


Last night, I took Kiri to purchase her very first pieces of jewelry. She picked out a matching Hello Kitty necklace/ring set. It wasn't expensive. It isn't elaborate. But she sure loves it. 

I'd say, it was a job well done.

17 January 2012

Over Thinking.



Wheels in my mind keep on turning....

Life has been so unbelievably crazy lately. A co-worker and really good friend of mine quit the other day. Apparently his perfect relationship wasn't what it seemed and crumbled rather quickly, causing him to move back home to Georgia. I'm a bit surprised, but then again I'm not. 2011 really ruined relationships for a lot of people. A lot of people I thought were happy and so in love. It's just kind of disheartening to me. Maybe it's because I'm not a quitter. I'd fight with everything in me to save my doomed marriage/relationship. Or maybe I want it more than others do? Or then there's the chance that I'm just so fucking naive, because I take people's happiness at face value. Whatever the cause, I hope and pray that it's truly what they want. Being loved is the most incredible feeling. I couldn't imagine losing it. Back to the point though, because of his departure, hours are going up at work. Meaning I've been there the longest, so his shifts will more than likely be added to my workload. Good or bad thing? Probably a little bit of both. 

Aside from work life, home life has gotten better. Mine and Papa's relationship has hit a "Mario star" and out of nowhere, we've been kissing and loving on one another ten times as much. I think subconciously we're both a little set back by the split rate of our friends and we've secretly began putting more effort into the areas of our relationship that we've gotten too comfortable with. Not that I'm complaining. I enjoy the giggles I get from him kissing my nose. [The smiling from ear to ear begins!] We've been doing phenomenal with the vegetarianism too. It's day 16 and I still feel good. We're just in dire need of some recipes, cause pasta is getting SO blah, after having it for half a month straight. If you have any ideas AT ALL, please feel free to send them to my email at fortsawyer@gmail.com. (Thanks in advance!) 

The fitness aspect has been hard to keep up with. I want so badly to dedicate certain times to working out, but between Papa's three jobs and my crazy hours, it gets really hard to be strict about it. Especially when we're eating so late. (Both of us don't end up getting home until after midnight, then we either wait until after a workout to eat -at 2am- or we eat and skip the gym. This is NOT want I wanted. Motivation, dedication, satisfaction. I can't have one without the other. And I need it so badly right now. That's why I think I'm going to start a food & fitness journal. Maybe then I can keep up with it!

As of a few days ago, Kiri has been asking for a little brother. NON-STOP. Like every single day, without fail. And not only is it "Mommy, can you have a baby?" It's like, "Mommy, will you please have a baby and name him Liam? I want to have a brother before I turn five. That way I can see him before I start school."  SAY WHAT? When did this happen? When did my little girl start wanting me to get pregnant? I thought that she -of all people- would wanna stay my baby forever. I thought I could count on her for support for my no-baby campaign, but I guess I'm on my own. Maybe Papa brainwashed her, maybe she just yearns for a sibling. I have no idea. All I know is that she wants one and it's starting to cause me to want one too. I'm in serious trouble now...


C'est la vie.

13 January 2012

Read Away




This girl melts my heart into mush. I honestly cannot believe she knows "almost" how to read. She can get the gist of stories just by looking at the pictures and then puts the story into a song. :')

My Thoughts Exactly

"I am a loner and I suck at being a friend.
I want some friends but I don’t really know how to be one anymore. I always say oh if I had some mama pals around here I wouldn’t be such a damn suck but honestly I think I would. I HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO INTERACT WITH PEOPLE MY OWN AGE! I don’t know what to say, I feel like whatever I have to say is fucking lame, and I worry/stress myself out over it. RELAX DANIELLE, FUCKING RELAX.
Point being I NEED/WANT some damn friends and I want to be someone’s go to friend when something good/bad/happy/sad/silly/funny happens."

If this doesn't sum how I feel up I into one little ball of truth, I don't know what will. It's like my social skills plummeted right after I got married and had my daughter. Like to the point where I'll sabotage any friendship/relationship on the daily, just because I feel so awkward and out of place. And the worst part is, I have no idea why I feel that way. Lady woes.

& if you'd like, you can read more about Miss Dee, New England living and her life as a brand-spankin' new mama on her blog

11 January 2012

Pinterest-ing Wednesday {v.6}



Hope everyone is having a wonderfully, whacky Wednesday! Here are my top six pins of the week!


For Mama: Style icon # 1 will always be Lauren Conrad. Beach waves, natural makeup and a bubbly personality? I think so!

For Papa: Hot guy, hot car, hot photo. Yep, we've got ideas for a Bop-a-liscious photoshoot, coming soon!

For Kiri: I have a quirky idea that involves taking some of Little Miss' best photographs and putting them on a canvas collage in our living room wall. 

For the Home: THIS BEDDING! I want something neutral colored (to adhere to Papa's taste!) but with frills, lace or ruffles (to adhere to mine as well!) This one is perfectttt!

For Celebration: A warm pot of broccoli and cheese soup for the win!

For Inspiration: This. Always.

Follow my pinboards here.

09 January 2012

Congrats To My Mister.



There is not a day that goes by that I don't sit back and thank my lucky stars for what I have. I know, like all people, I have my days where I bitch and moan about life and it's aggravating hurdles. But for the most part, I'm pretty fucking satisfied with my situation. I mean, look at them. What's to complain about?!

And just when I think I couldn't love them any more than I already do, Papa lays another one on me. He got another job. This would be his THIRD. Not that being in the military, working full time at a supermarket, going to school part-time, being a husband and father aren't enough. He goes and tacks on working part-time at a hotel to it. Why, you ask? (Because let's face it, even I am questioning his motives! He already does SO much!) He looks at me and says, "Because I love working. Plus, it means I can give you and Punky a better life." Need I remind you this kid JUST finished the police academy in Tampa?!

 He's always worked so hard. It's hard to fathom the amount of stress and pressure HE has on his back---even being a full time working mama. I mean, let's look at the facts. He's only twenty-one years old. He began working at fifteen and hasn't stopped since. He was in the Army and a father before he graduated high school. He's a leader, a builder and my hero. He's there when Kiri needs teaching and my support system when I have a bad day. I'll never know how he does it or where he gets the strength. I'm knocked out after working 40+ hours a week, taking college classes and parenting. I couldn't even imagine adding that to two more jobs and a whiney wife. My woes don't even begin to compare. 

What is his reasoning for all of it? Us. We have dreams about owning a home here in Saint Augustine and planting roots for years to come. And he is making sure that happens. With his three incomes, his education funding and my full-time job, we're well above where we need to be financially and it looks like we'll make it there quicker than expected. All because of the motivation and drive of the guy above. And what do I have to say to this big hunk of man?

"I love you, sir. I love your kind heart, smart brain and good soul. I appreciate every little thing you say and do and hope that you always, always remember that. Thank you for sacrificing your time, sleep and energy to ensure we make it in life. You inspire me to push harder, move forward and go above and beyond my means to be even remotely close to your level. I'm so proud of you and will never, ever stop taking pride in who you are. Always and forever, babe."

05 January 2012

Um, Thursday?



Please slow down! You bring with you SO much chaos, in such a short time, it's starting to make my head spin!

Then again, I guess only a super mama extreme could handle a day full of errand-running, bill-paying AND being the sole person on duty during one of the BUSIEST days of the year; all while maintaing a state of composure an a smile. Plus, like an idiot, I forgot to eat ALL day, so my blood sugar is noticeably low and I'm hungry as all hell.

BUT! Thursday, dear Thursday. These lower back pains and low tolerance for people are really starting to get to me. And unlike most, I don't fold so easily.

So please, do me a favor and mellow out, so I don't enjoy a nice, big, menstrual induced lady fit in front of over a hundred guests.

Like every month, it will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

A very disgruntled, impatient, uncomfortable mama

P.S. On a good note, it is GORGEOUS outside today! 64* and sunny with a slight beachy breeze? I'll take it!

04 January 2012

Punky-razzi





 



I can't believe how ridiculously cute this kid is behind the lens of a camera! Honestly. 

She got this little thing-a-ma-bob from my mother for Christmas and it's been sitting atop my mantle for weeks. I was a bit apprehensive about letting her trot around with something so (obviously?!) expensive. BUT! She did so well with it! She's been snapping photo after photo, screaming, "Look, Mommy!" or "I'm a phot-am-fer just like you!" Haha. IT KILLS ME. 

I also like that this little tot-friendly gadget is (for the most part) waterproof, spill proof, bang proof and (drum roll, please!) DROP PROOF. So, in the event that she drops or throws it, it will not break. And something that won't be affected by my klutzy offspring? Cue the hallelujahs, immediately. 

Pinterest-ing Wednesday {v.5}




Good morning, all! I hope everyone is having a wonderfully awesome Wednesday morning! I'm enjoying a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of the most amazing tea--(thanks to Tazo's delicious chai version!) Here are my top six pins of the week! 

For Mama: May I just say how flippin' (yes, I said flippin'!) adorable that bathing suit is?! I was lucky enough to snag the one I have from last year from Target, but I think that this year I might dig deep into my pockets and invest in a really cute, hopefully not too expensive one piece. But knowing me, I won't be able to justify spending more than $20 on one for myself, so I'll just settle with another Target clearance find. Such is my life.

For Papa: This photograph just screams cute. There's something about a man with tattoos and parenting that just gives me the smiles. Now, most of you know that Robert has yet to get any ink, BUT! He will be soon. So yes, this would apply to him. 

For Kiri: On-going 'Kiwi's Room' design inspiration. I'll never find the perfect one. But I'll forever find ones to add together for her perfect little corner of our apartment. 

For the Home: I'm in such desperate need for storage solutions, it's pitiful. I'm just in shock at how terrible I've been adapting to life in an apartment. Maybe it's that I'm used to having an outdoor shed and being able to put up a linen closet wherever I wanted to, but seriously, having to give up my sectional AND my pantry too? It's killing me. Send some pointers my way, people! 

For Celebration: Now that Fort Sawyer's officially vegetarian, we're also gonna need a flood of recipes to keep us fed every day. I need books, websites, apps and basically anything y'all can manage to get your hands on and send my way. Now that I'm a working lady and can't spend half my day preparing meals, I need some sort of guidance on how to stay healthy.

For Inspiration: LIKE A LADY. Forever.

And if you're feeling sweet, follow my boards here.

03 January 2012

No-Meat January


In June of last year, Papa and I decided to jump on the no-meat bandwagon and omit it for just a few short weeks. I was trying SUPER hard to rid myself of the post-baby weight and he thought it'd be a good challenge for his mainly-carnivorous self. For close to seven weeks we stayed true to that diet and the results were surprising. WE FELT AMAZING. At that time, I was completely caffeine-free. No coffee, no soda, no energy drinks. Yet, I still felt as though I had downed eight cups before breakfast. My head was so light, my vision so clear and I was perky as all hell. From mid-June to early August, I had managed to drop fifteen pounds and fit into a size five bikini. (Yes, I said bikini----oy!) It truly was a wonderful (and easy!) diet to keep.

THAT IS, until my mother in law moved in. She needed a place to stay and we had an extra room available. BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER. (If you probably recall, she is the reason we decided to move in the first place!) Instead of paying rent, she found it her duty to buy food and make dinners, in her "natural Italian' way. And by natural Italian, I mean loaded with carbs, meat, breads and oils. Not to mention, she was a "bargain shopper". Only would she shop in bulk or in stores with super cheap, processed foods. Usually, that was Save-A-Lot or Winn-Dixie. (Both of which I find repulsive!) At first, my body reacted horribly to the change and I was getting sick all the time (and of course, my immediate reaction was a pregnancy scare, go figure!) But after a while, the sickness went away and I adapted to the fatty foods. Before settling in to Saint Augustine, after weeks and weeks of major depression, I realized I had racked up all of the pounds that I just took off and then some. And since then, I've been meat-eating and fighting off colds, pounds and caffeine-addiction. 

MORAL OF THE STORY: Meat and I need to break up. I'm so tired of feeling sick, groggy and weighed down. So, I've set a goal for myself. And that goal is to go meatless for the entire month of January. And if I can go 31 whole days without it, then try 2 months, then 3, then 4 and so on, until I can go the whole year. I know it might be hard at first, especially when I eat so late (due to my mostly 3-11 shifts at work!) and I don;t have the time to cook, but somehow I know I'll make it work. Somehow.

And the best part of this whole thing? Ever since Bop and I watched 'Forks Over Knives' and 'Food Inc.', he's been SO supportive of me. Even though he adores all things sausage, he's chosen to split away from it and even helped me google vegetarian meals and recipes. Honestly, that's the sweetest thing he could ever do for me. (Reason # 262622 why I married him: he goes along with ALL my crazy ideas/diets). 

So, here's to finishing 2012 at a whopping 120, size 3 bikini and all. Oh, and I'd prefer to have my abs back. You know, if I can manage that as well.

Love.

BFF



Just a little girl and her monkey. Especially when said sweetie isn't feeling so well.

*Note: Yes, I do make sure their clothing matches. Haha!

02 January 2012