Monday, September 30, 2013

September Blogging Challenge: Memory

This is the final post to finish up the September Blogging Challenge! I can't believe I covered every single one (almost) lol. 

Today's prompt asks us for a special memory. There are so many to choose from; there are smaller "insignificant" memories that really have a big impact to more significant ones such as the day I got engaged to my wedding to the day my daughter was born. The one I am going to share though I think is more of a "neutral" memory and really incorporates how much people cared about me and really signifies my growing up. It also made me realize just how small the world is! 

I don't have any digital pictures to go with this memory, although it takes up a good majority of one of my scrapbooks. I was 19, my daughter was 3 or 4 months old, hubby had just graduated from boot camp and was in California. We had not even been married a year yet so I didn't want to have to live apart from him any longer than necessary. Plus, I'd always wanted to live in California, so we decided to use what little money we had for me to get on a train with our 4 month old and come on our to Cali. Now mind you I'd never left my home state without a parent, so this was a HUGE deal! My mom and I had quite a fun time organizing everything I would need for four days of non-stop travel with an infant. My mom was a basket case (obviously, what mother wouldn't be lol) so my dad took me to the train station. I remember feeling like something out of a 1950's movie getting on the train. I also remember having to kick my father off as I was pretty sure the train was going to take off with him on it and not that I would have minded, but I was scared he'd be arrested for not having a ticket! LOL Oh the joy of being naive lol!

The train takes off and I spent a few hours just enjoying watching the scenery go by and exploring the train. I had never been on a train so that was super fun. There were a lot of interesting people to meet and talk to. At dinner I sat with an older couple in there 70's who had been married like 40 years or something insane and had quite a bit in common with them so that was really nice. After that evening I was walking through the train and saw a girl I had gone to high school with! She was going to Texas to meet up with her husband at the time. I was flabbergasted! I could not believe that was happening. I was grateful though because after 24 hours on a train with an infant I needed a small break so she kindly watched my daughter for me while I took a washroom break and cleaned up and reorganized my bag. We then met back up within the hour for breakfast together. It was so nice to see her and visit and catch-up. We were just acquaintances in school, but it still meant a lot. 

After a few days of travel and spending hours in the scenery car I arrived in Los Angeles, 8 hours behind schedule! I was so stressed out, but quickly learned that the train that went from Los Angeles to Lompoc was a commuter train so I got on one no problem. The older gentleman from the couple I had met lived in Los Angeles so they helped me gather my belongings and helped me to my next train. That was such a relief to have some help like that! I arrived in Lompoc and found my way to the AF Base. It was quite an experience and one that really helped me grow up. It also helped me realize the importance of community and how many different types of communities there are, permanent and temporary!

This sure was a fun month sharing quite a few things with my readers that I normally would not think to share! What is one of your fondest memories??

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September Blogging Challenge: Four Favourite Foods

Four Favourite Foods:
(no, I couldn't resist an alliteration)

I never said my choices would be healthy! Ha! But, those are my faves, what are yours????

Sunday Social: Jobs

Sunday Social

Today is all about jobs! Most people's least favourite subject! hehehe Once I found something I loved to do I never minded going to work in the mornings. Now that I get up everyday and am automatically at my "job"'s even better! ;)

1. What is your dream job?
Having a successful Etsy store selling things I love to make....along with a "side" business of teaching different craft classes.

2. If you had just won the lottery and didn’t need to work for money, what would you do with your time?
I'd travel! I seriously would go everywhere and I would find places to volunteer and ways to help others with my knowledge and experience. Ideally I'd love to volunteer with young women (15-early 20's) in developing nations teaching them anything that could help them to live a better life! That's actually why I majored in political science but then realized that having a young child and family it would be difficult to dash off to the peace corp ;)

3. What piece of career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
When in University major in some area of education if you want to be a teacher of any kind. I didn't major in education and it makes it really difficult when I move to get my credentials changed over. Very frustrating, and living in a different country, even though it is still part of North America has an education degree requirement, there are no "certificates" for teaching to add to my bachelor's degree so that is one regret I have.

4. What would be your ideal “just for fun” job?
Is pinterest pinner a job?! hahaha

5. What was your first “real” job?
Well, I started my family young so my first "real" job was order entry for an advertising firm.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September Blogging Challenge: Greatest Fear

I have to say, when I was in my '20's I probably feared everything lol As I have gotten older, however, I find I have much more peace about life and living in general. I try not to stress and worry over things, and things I thought I was "afraid" of....I'm really not, I was just being dramatic and immature! The only thing I can say I actually worry about is obviously losing my daughter. That and losing my husband are the two things that I would definitely need to be medicated for a period of time if they happened.

Friday, September 27, 2013

September Blogging Challenge: One Year Accomplishment

Today's prompt has us once again looking at the future! The first one was looking forward five years, now we are looking a bit more at the immediate future, which is something I can definitely do! In one year I would like to monetize my blogging. I am not quite sure how I am going to fully go about this, but I know it can be done and have been doing quite a bit of research on it, I think I can make it happen. If anyone out there has any suggestions I am 100% open to any and all suggestions! :)

How about you, if you have to pick only one thing to accomplish by September 2014, what would it be?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

September Blogging Challenge: Most Influential Person in my Life

This topic is a seriously tough one. I have a lot of people who have influenced me. I have my mom, my dad, and my husband. These three people have really supported me and helped me in any and all my endevours. My mother and father since I was a small child, and my husband in my adulthood. But, I have to say the one person who has really driven me to set a good example, be the best I can be is this lil' lady: 

She is such a cutie, isn't she?! I wanted to set a good example for her as a child so I made sure to put myself through college, find a profession I would enjoy, and now to do the best I can to set a great example of taking care of our home so she knows what to do a long time from now when she is out on her own! 

Kind of surprising that I chose my child as the most influential person on my life, huh? What about you, who is the person who has most influenced your life?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIAW/WOD's #17

Man, oh man! Back at another WEDNESDAY!!!

Last week I got super busy and totally failed at posting! So, this week I shall make up for goes two weeks of....

Butternut squash with chopped up spinach and onions with bbq mushrooms on top, with a side of broccoli & a sprinkle of Parmesan. 

Oh she glows Elvis bars!

A blueberry muffin, figs, and coffee!

Veggie burger scramble with figs and nut thins

Apple strudle and coffee/hot cocoa (for the little one)
"Pumpkin" Protein Shake: 1/2 cup butternut squash or pumpkin, 8oz almond milk, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/4tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 scoop Sun Warrior protein powder,  a few ice cubes. Blend in blender until nice and smooth! Drink up!

I'm not quite sure the name of this squash. The farmer at the market said it was something like a Big Blue or Baby Blue, I'm not sure I couldn't find any info on it at all so if someone knows, please let me know in the comments! It was a very juicy squash though, I wish I had known because I would have juiced it instead! But, here i have it paired with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pear, and I topped it with parm.

These are the seeds from the above squash! They were very tasty!

This was Tuesday night's dinner. A nice green salad, what will probably be our last bit of corn for the season, and some homemade hamburger helper (I was out of elbows so spaghetti it was! LOL ...and some lemon water of course!

My last two weeks in workouts have been interesting. I gave up on Focus T25. In theory it is good, but I wasn't getting the calorie burn I want (I obviously love to eat so I need to burn some serious calories in a day lol) and just felt like I wasn't making any progress in my fitness journey. So, I have gone back to my beloved P90X and this is how it went...

On the 14th these were the shenanigans I got into with my kiddo...
Oh yea, we got color bombed! We didn't quite get as colourful as we'd hoped, but we still had a total blast!

17th: Focus T25, and P90X shoulders and arms

18th: Plyometrics

19th: Pear Sports Fig Yoga 1, and a 3 mile walk/run
I was exhausted after that yoga, it was a tough one!

20th: Shoulders and arms, 4 mile walk

21st: P90X Legs and back

22nd: Kenpo X and foam rolling

23rd: Rest day; lots of stretching and a hot bath with epsom salt, I was soooooooo sore! I also exercised my mind a bit...
Really enjoying this book and putting together my own happiness project!

24th: P90X shoulders and arms (after each set of three I would run 5 minutes on the treadmill, then at the end I ran a total of 15 min on the tread mill to round out a 90 minute workout)

Today: Core synergistics; blogilates Drive by inner thighs challenge and slimmer inner thighs and calves

What have you been doing to get moving this week???

September Blogging Challenge: Top 3 Worst Traits/Habits

Seriously, now this one I can do! We are all our worst critic right?! 

1. Procrastination: I am a horrible procrastinator. It's what prevents me from getting on any type of schedule! But, when I am sick of procrastinating hold on world....I'm doing ALL THE THINGS!!! 

2. When I get stressed out, I tend to shut down and lash out! It's really quite terrible, but when something stresses me out and someone tries to talk to me I can go from sweet to way too sassy so fast it'll make your head spin! probably don't! ;) This is one thing I am majorly working on to change about myself though. I don't like it. 

3. Lack of passion. I am passionate about somethings and those things I am super passionate about. But, there are other things that I want to care about, but just can't seem to muster up the energy some days to really care enough about them to take action! This is another thing I am trying to change about myself.

Here is a funny to leave you with...this is one of my favourite "rotten" ecards ;)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

DIY: Glitter Electric Tea Lights Tutorial

In recent years I have been seeing electric tea lights become a growing trend, especially in the crafting community. Many people love to use them this time of year to put in their plastic pumpkins or put on their Christmas trees. I'd yet to invest in any for two reasons: 
1. I never really had a use for them 
2. They were expensive 

It just so happens that two events came into play that finally had me investing in some of these electric tea lights:
1. I have a long tea light holder that holds 6 lights, the hubs and the teenager almost lit themselves on fire forgetting there was live fire in this candle holder and reached over it to put stuff in the sink. 
2. I was at Dollar Tree and found they were selling two electric tea lights to a pack for $1.25CAD!!! I thought that was pretty good considering at other craft stores they are sold in packs where each one is about $1.50 CAD.

When I got home I proudly put them in my candle holder:

Personally, I didn't think this looked all that fantastic. It was ok, but definitely not what I was looking for!!

After thinking on it for a minute I decided the #1 thing the candle holder needs is SPARKLE!!!!!

So, this is what I did to get them sparkly:

-How ever many tea lights you would like to make (6 in my case)
-Sponge paint brush
-Liquid school glue
-One large jar of glitter, or if you pick it up from the dollar tree grab 3-4 packs

Lay news paper down to protect your work surface. Lay tea lights out on newspaper.

Carefully cover the "flame" of each tea light in tape.  Like above. This is honestly the easiest way to make sure your "flame" doesn't wind up covered in glitter too! 

Then, paint a layer of glue on each lights and liberally sprinkle with glitter. The glitter that falls on the newspaper, "roll" the side of the lights in it to get them covered. Repeat this which each light. Let dry for a few hours (at least 3). 

Then, take the hairspray & holding it about 8-10 inches from the light (seriously, don't hold it any closer or you will spray the glitter off lol), and over your newspaper spray the hairspray to coat the glitter so it doesn't flake off and get everywhere!

Then, remove the tape from the flame. The easiest way I found to do this was to use the scissors to cut a little slit in the top and carefully peel it off.

This will be the final product:

This is what the whole thing looks like:

Isn't it adorable?! The whole thing cost me less than $10 and I couldn't be happier!

September Blogging Challenge: What do you want to be when you grow up?

As a little girl I loved to play school. I would run a  school and try to teach my friends to write left handed! What a pip, right?! Who knew that was mostly a genetic thing?! Well, I do now and that's what is important, but as a child-teacher I was darn well determined to make my friends write like me! ha! So, in short, as a child I wanted to be a teacher. After a brief stint of majoring in political science and thinking I could change the world in politics I decided teaching would be the best career move for me! So, that is what I became, a teacher. Now, though I stay at home and do house wifery duties and raise the teen, but when I was teaching I sure did love every moment. It was so rewarding, even the crazy insane frustrating moments were well worth it when you knew everything clicked and the light bulb went on! 

What do you do for a living? Is it much different from what you wanted to be when you were little?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Menu Plan Monday #24

Autumn is in full swing here....we have changing leaves, the rain has started, and the temperatures are starting to get cooler. I am super excited, Autumn may not be my favourite season, but it sure is a close second. Living in a place that actually has dipping temperatures, a feature (like rain) that signals the season change, makes it all that much more magical. Here are some photos from last Autumn....

I'm not photographer and all of those were taken with my plain ol' iPhone camera, but those are a small selection of my favourites! Another favourite thing is planning my menu around amazing delicious fall squashes. I love, love, love sweet stuff so having the sweet squashes will be so tasty! We are also gearing up for October Unprocessed 2013! 

October Unprocessed 2013

As a familial whole we are about 70% unprocessed, but for this month we will all go all in and do 100% unprocessed. Luckily I have a health conscious teenager so she is on board, the husband, well we'll see. I think if he can do at least 80% unprocessed I've made some progress! Anyway....on to what you came here for....

Org Junkie
These are the fruits and veggies I am working with this week from the Farmer's Market...

Monday: Leftover cream of rice cereal from last week sweetened with honey, pear slices
Prep: None, it was already done ;)

Tuesday: Hard boiled eggs, whole wheat toast, and pear slices with cinnamon protein peanut butter for dipping
Prep: Sunday hard boil 12 eggs, make protein peanut butter :
This is the base recipe, but here is how I make it exactly:
1/2 cup PB
3/4 cup almond milk
6 tablespoons Sunwarrior raw protein powder in Vanilla
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp raw, local honey (I am not vegan, and I reduce the sweetener because I used sweetened protein powder)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Store in nice jar in fridge. 
*For easy, grab & go prep store in individual mini-mason jars in the fridge.

Wednesday: Eggs, canadian bacon, toast
Prep: None, make fresh

Thursday: Same as Tuesday
Prep: None, will already be made

Prep: Make Sunday afternoon, doubling ingredients and store in fridge. Heat up either in pan, oven, or microwave and top with protein pb made earlier in the week.

Prep: Double recipe and freeze for breakfasts another time and lunches

Sunday: Omelette, bacon, leftover muffins or toast
Prep: None, all will be fresh, or already made

Kate: Tuna salad with Parmesan crisps
Teen: Chicken salad with walnuts
Kate: Leftovers
Teen: Leftovers in thermos
Kate: Cucumber, egg white, cheddar stacks with leftover squash
Teen: Eat out
Kate: Apple or pear 'which with a bowl of granola
Teen: Applewich with nuts, and cucumber slices
Squash soup with any leftover fruit/veggies from the week
Most likely will eat out, we are going apple picking and will be an hour away from home. I will probably pack up some leftovers to snack on.
Grilled cheese sandwiches with homemade chicken noodle soup

Monday: Baked potato bar with side salads
Prep: Make a large salad for the week and a side of cucumber relish so it's just grab and go.
Tuesday: Homemade hamburger helper with cucumber relish with corn
Prep: Pre-measure spices, cucumber relish will be made above
Wednesday: Bacon wrapped BBQ apple chicken in the crock pot with corn
Prep: None, slice everything fresh and put in crockpot
Thursday: Sweet & sour chicken with rice and corn/leftover salad
Prep: None, all will be made fresh
Friday: New Restaurant Friday: Nook 
Saturday: Fried steak pieces with baked bacon cheese fries and whatever fresh veggies I get from the market
Prep: None, all will be made fresh
Sunday: Sliders on a stick with roasted onions and whatever veggies I pick up from the farmer's market
Prep: None, all will be made fresh

That is my menu for the week...I remembered to take into account after school activities and use of our leftovers! :) 

I hope you all have a great week!!!

September Blog Challenge: Worst day or event of my life

I have to be honest here....I can't say I have one! My life up until this point has been amazing. I am truly blessed. I have an amazing family, amazing parents, an amazing sibling, amazing in-laws....I cannot think of a moment that makes me say, "that was the worst moment of my life". This could be attributed to the fact that I take most anything and spin it in a positive light....

If I have to pick a moment, though after giving it some thought, I'd probably say the day we found out my grandmother was ill. I grew very close to her when my family moved back to Jacksonville in 2008, where we grew up. As far as we all knew, besides her elderly aches and pains, she was healthy as a horse...then one day she wasn't feeling well and a few days later was diagnosed with stage four cancer. It was quite shocking. She died within three month's time. I know it really took a toll on my mother and due to circumstances beyond my mother's control it took her a while to deal with it. I think she dealt with it as best she could, but still it was a huge shocker to all of us! Heck, sometimes I still have to remind myself my grandmother isn't here anymore! So, if I had to pick one as the most awful I'd think that was it.

I just want to reiterate though, I am so fortunate, I haven't had to deal with a lot of the losses and issues others have had to deal with in their lives. What few hardships I have had, I've learned a lot from and have really made sure I use them to better myself/my life.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Social: Handbags

So, I have had the most awkward time with this post. I have now published it twice without it being complete! Some days, some days! Ha!

Sunday Social

Today we are talking about something super girly: Purses! I love my purse organization, it's so easy to find things in my giant bags! I have such large ones because I live in a downtown core and walk everywhere so I need it to be able hold a water bottle, coffee mug, umbrella, heels...sometimes all at once! ;) I love handbags, but I'm not a handbag "dreamer". It's totally a spontaneous purchase for me when I get one! I love them, but don't love to "lust" over them! on:

1. What is your favorite handbag you’ve ever owned?
My favourite handbag is one of two:

2. What is your dream handbag you lust over?
Honestly, I love bags but I don't really have one I lust over, I'm not that into them! I had always wanted a coach bag and when I got the black one above that sort of satiated that "need". :)

3. What are the daily essentials in your purse or work bag? 
My daily essentials are my foldable flats, house keys (I don't drive everyday so I don't carry car keys on a regular basis), wallet, earbuds, phone, and "emergency kit". 

4. What’s in your purse (with pictures)?

The inside of my purse. Before I go anywhere I take a peek inside and make sure there isn't any "loose" stuff like receipts or whatever. That's how I make sure to keep it super clean ;)

This is everything inside (clockwise from left to right): foldable flats in the black bag, a diary for making lists, writing down cool stuff I see, etc, my "emergency" kit, house keys, ear buds, purse hanger, wallet, compact (was my grandmother's), and kleenex.

My emergency kit all packed up.

In my emergency kit: a mirror, bandaids, tampon, advil, babylips, perfume, dior glitter gloss (for days you just need a little extra fab ;)), two pens (one for regular writing, the other for marking important things), nail files (I have no idea why I have so many lol I did pair it down to one after this ;)), nail clippers, safety pins, bobby pin, carmex (I am from FL but have also lived in very cold climates I've learned you can never have enough glosses lol), a hair tie, a tiny note pad (incase I need to pass my number or email on to someone or take a short note), and two plastic bags (my daughter gets extreme motion sickness so the yellow bag is open and can be used for trash or sickness then tossed, the ziploc bag is in case we are on Transit and she gets sick we have a way to seal it up so it doesn't stink ;)).

So, that is my purse. I try to keep is super organized so I never have to "dig" for stuff. What is the #1 thing you can't leave the house without it in your purse (aside from keys and wallet ;))??