Tuesday, February 28, 2012

hey, it's ok (2.28)

hey, it's ok

...to be totally excited that it's in the 70s this week
...to race your husband home from work.  (hey, i left at 6.30 am and he started his day a few minutes before 9. i just wanted to walk in the door first!)
...to have eaten a proper full dinner and STILL indulged in the free pancakes at ihop. my cell group meets there every 2 weeks on tuesdays, and our meeting coincided with free pancake day. i couldn't turn down the free stack (and i only ate 2...gave the other away)
...to really need to catch up with blogging. one of these days.
...to be thrilled beyond belief that my hardworking husband got offered (and accepted) a full-time position where he's been working temporarily for 6 months (at UBS). he does some sort of tax financial client portfolio stuff. he likes it because he gets to solve problems and figure out more efficient ways to do things all day. i like it because he's happy at work and we have insurance now (hey, just being real).
...to have cried a bit at the series finale of parenthood. if you watch, you know why (and you cried too, admit it)
...to roll your eyes every time you see the commercial with people whining talking about their cell phone battery dying. ever heard of charging your phone?!

visit amber no matter what, but especially if you have a list to share!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ash wednesday 2012

and so here we are again.
another year come and gone, and it's ash wednesday yet again

and yet again, i've come to a place of wondering if i celebrate
and why
and is it too legalistic to partake?

all those questions seem silly
yet i ask them
almost as if it's become a part of my Lenten ritual
to remind myself
to remember

the answers are simple:

of course i'll celebrate this season
this somber remembrance

because of His life

and legalism has no place in my life
so it is not welcome in my life here either

but what
that is the question that plagues me every year

last year, i heard the Holy Spirit clearly whisper
'give up stress'
and while people looked at me like i was insane when i told them what i had given up for lent
i knew it had a deeper purpose

in a wedding planning on a budget year
i HAD to eliminate as much stress as possible
so consciously thinking of it for 40 days
made it a little easier as the day approached
{not saying that i never got stressed...but i'm convinced this time of preparation helped alleviate some!}

this year?
well, He hasn't shared my "sacrifice" with me yet
but i know Him...He will

and even as i type that i smile
because for me lent always becomes more than a sacrifice
it becomes a continual reminder of His life
and therefore how my life should be

sometimes i wonder if we celebrate lent
simply for that recall
the realization that our life should mirror His
and the fewer distractions (even if they are good)
that we have
the more pliable we become
to be molded into that lifestyle

when i look at it that way
it becomes less about sacrifice
and more about casting off any extra "stuff" that gets in the way

even if it's just for 40 days


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

hey, it's ok (2.21)

hey, it's ok

...to take a day off when it's handed to you (rather than going into the office of your other job even for just a couple of hours)
...to alternate bouts of productivity with moments of rest 
...to keep the kleenex box next to you at all times (today that's not just ok it's necessary!)
...to reorganize a kitchen cabinet 3 times in one afternoon
...to be likely to organize said cabinet again in the near future
...to not have blogged in a long time (oops)
...to have discovered that we really like annie's boxed mac and cheese on occasion
...to be sort of addicted to juicing
...to wonder if the laundry will completely overtake us one of these days

(go visit amber's amazing blog and join up with your own list!)


Monday, February 13, 2012

monday's memory: the one with valentines past

dinner at a local italian place and a movie at my house

afternoon concert, dinner at anthony's apartment (he cooked!) followed by video games and going to see a movie

(this somehow didn't make it on the blog...but 6 days later we got engaged, so i suppose that's why :-)
bowling, starting our marriage prep class (although we weren't engaged yet), dinner cooked by anthony and dancing in his living room. 


we've already celebrated with a meal at Stoney River on saturday, and tomorrow night we are just staying in and enjoying an evening together.  our gift to each other is buying the lady and the tramp bluray.  we've definitely become fans of keeping it simple and sweet :D


Friday, February 10, 2012

recipe of the week: lora's (copycat) spinach sour cream dip

i discovered trader joe's spinach sour cream dip awhile back.  and while this version isn't *exactly* the same, it's pretty darn good.  and definitely keeps me from spending $3/week on a tiny tub of dip!  

it's embarrassingly easy, but i'll still share it :-)

spinach sour cream dip

1/2 a bunch of organic spinach
1 large handful of fresh parsley
1/2 cup organic sour cream (i use trader joe's)
1/2 cup mayo (i use olive oil mayo)
1/4 cup mozzarella (optional--i usually leave it out)
generous sprinkles of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, nutmeg garlic powder and onion powder

begin by processing (with the shredding disk) the spinach and parsley.  once they are well chopped, switch to the dough blade.

  add the sour cream, mayonnaise and spices and process until well blended.  

refrigerate for at LEAST an hour to further blend the flavors. (i usually refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving) 

enjoy!  according to my recipe input program a 2 tbsp serving (without cheese) contains 80 calories, 6.5 g fat, 116.6 mg sodium, and 3.7 g carbs.

(i'm linked in to feed my family fridays again -- go visit this amazing blog and join in!)

feed my family friday


Monday, February 6, 2012

monday's memory: the one with january's photos

this is pretty much a photo dump post, but i said i was going to post my daily photos here, so i'm following through :-)

i have discovered a couple of things through taking these
1- i take a lot of pictures of food
2 - looking back through my photos makes me hungry.  because of #1.

so.  here ya go.  january 2012 in photos


Friday, February 3, 2012

recipe of the week: pastrami burgers

i found a fun recipe for pastrami sliders a few months ago.

however, because we were HUNGRY the night i made them, i made full-size burgers.
here's the recipe, not changed much (for once :-)

pastrami burgers

rye bread, toasted in the oven for 7-8 minutes
1 pound ground pork
1/2 medium onion, processed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and coarse ground pepper to taste (you won't need much because of the salty pastrami)
1/2 pound lean pastrami, coarsely chopped (i used the food processor and processed the onion with it)
olive oil for drizzling

tomatoes (i used cherry)
dill pickles
german mustard

 burgers are pretty much selfl-explanatory, right?  mix up the meat and spices.  form into even patties.  heat grill pan over med-high heat, grill burgers until they are cooked through.  

mustard on one slice and mayo on the other is what we did...and it was GOOD.

next time i'll get the pumpernickel and rye swirl bread because i love that blend, but other than that?  this is a yummy recipe, and comes in (according to my fitness pal) at 392 calories per burger (including the rye bread).  Not bad!

(visit a sweet blog friend and link your own post!)
feed my family friday


Thursday, February 2, 2012

thursday's ten: in order to not be a slug

mid-winter is the worst time physically for me

not only do i want to consume every creamy, savory, carb-loaded thing in sight
i also don't.want.to.move.

and since i sometimes need to say it to (a) realize that i'm already on the right track and (b) to hold myself accountable to keep.doing.it.

today's list is all about things i'm already doing to stay active and mobile even during chilly and dreary days :-)

1.  the occasional 5k.  i'm doing one this saturday, in fact.  now, i've cut WAY back on 5k registrations to save money (i can exercise for free, after all).  but one every 2-3 months is much more reasonable than my old pattern of once a month.  so i'm going to try that this year.  so i need to at LEAST do one by the end of may by those calculations...

2.  dancing.  with the baby in the kitchen while i nanny, by using the "just dance summer party" game i've purchased for the wii, or by attending contra-dancing or even a belly dancing class.  it's FUN, cheap (or free!) and even if i feel silly i'm burning calories!

3.  cleaning.  yes, i know this sounds like a stretch.  but if i tell myself to take a 30 minute break to clean the kitchen i will put it off.  if i remind myself i can put it on my fitness pal as "cleaning, light or moderate effort" i jump to do it.  i know it's weird, but hey.

4.  my fitness pal.  i love the app (and that you can add recipes by scanning the ingredients -- hellooooo user-friendly).  and i get a kick out of tweaking my eating habits so that i'm eating better calories.  but i also get a rush by plugging in all the ways i've exercised during the day and have even been known to find 15 minutes of an activity to do later in the evening so my exercise doesn't show a big fat 0.

i can NOT figure out how to add people outside of emailing them, so if you're on it feel free to look me up.  i'm msmsctchr.
<a href="http://www.myfitnesspal.com"><img src="http://badges.myfitnesspal.com/badges/show/1511/7178/15117178.weight-lost-sm.gif" border="0"></a><p style="text-align: center;width:226px;"><small>MyFitnessPal - Free <a href="http://www.myfitnesspal.com">Calorie Counter</a></small></p>

5.   hiking.  free exercise is good.  amazing girlfriends or a wonderful husband to share it with is even better :-)

6.  little things at work: at my office job, i try to move every hour for at least 5 minutes.  i realize that isn't much but it's way better than sitting at the desk all.morning.long.  and at my nanny job, i carry the baby more, go on stroller walks when it's nice out, use their elliptical even if it's only 5 minutes at a time, and even get on their balance ball while baby g plays (which she finds extremely amusing).

7.  better sleep.  who wants to work out when they're constantly tired?  i've been bad about this for the last 2 weeks or so, but i need to get back in the habit i was in for at least 2-3 months of sleeping 7-8 hours each night with rare exceptions.  yeah...need to go to bed by 11 tonight (self-reminder...)

8.  crunches.  yes, i hate them.  yes, i feel better after doing them.  so right now i at least try to remember to do them 2-3 times a week.  hey, it's a start.

9.  spurts.  when all else fails, i go in spurts.  this works for me if i have guests coming and need to clean the house and everything feels overwhelming.  9 minute tasks, move to the next one and have a rotation system.  i can always come back in the rotation, and if i only have 3 minutes of cleaning left in one room...i feel SO good about finishing it before the timer.  it's amazing how an hour goes by so much faster if you move between several rooms than if you spend the entire hour in a bathroom scrubbing.  and bonus: i'm moving the entire 60 minutes instead of taking a break every 15 or so because i'm exhausted, bored and grouchy.

10.  know thyself.  i have twice in the last three weeks injured my wrist by doing mundane household things.  ri-di-cu-lous, but it's made me realize the value of taking it easy on my wrist while not stopping activity altogether.  sometimes i need to take it easy and take that nap instead of jumping on the elliptical.  but taking a day off doesn't give me permission to take the week off!
(plus, sometimes that nap gives me better energy to clean the house later.  so it's kind of a nice payoff...)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

what i'm loving wednesday (2.1)

it's been awhile since i've participated, but not for lack of things to be loving!

so here's a very short list of what is making my heart full at the moment :-)

i'm loving my cell group girls...what an AMAZING group of God-seekers who daily inspire and uplift me. 
i'm loving my amazing husband who cleans the kitchen to surprise me on regular occasions, who won't let me touch the vacuum, who changes the litter box in rotation without complaint, and who will look at me at times and say "let's just watch big bang theory instead of organizing that room tonight".  balance, people.  we have it.

i'm loving intentional time spent with friends.  in my new year's post i mentioned that i wanted to let my yes be yes.  anthony is doing the same...i don't even know if he's meant for it to end up that way, but in looking back over january, we have had 12 separate occasions where friends have come over, shared a meal or conversation, and just enjoyed being with each other.  february is shaping up to be similar and we LOVE that.

(can i also just say i'm loving the creativity of those God lets me call "mine"?  cooking in my kitchen with my husband and/or my girlfriends makes my heart sing in a way i never noticed before.  and that's just one facet of the creativity surrounding me!)

i'm loving the warmer weather lately.  i mean, 64 and sunny yesterday.  come ON.

i'm loving opportunities to make some extra cash while loving on people's kids.  i'm so thankful for the opportunities to invest in their lives while at the same time put a few extra dollars towards non-necessities and paying off debt.
i'm loving being healthier and happier...i'm still slowly progressing in weight loss, but it's not necessarily about that.  i'm moving more, even if it isn't "true" exercise...staying active and having fully nutritious food 90% of the time makes those nights that i need to be a slug and consume chili cheese fries perfectly ok.

i'm loving great changes on the horizon...SO excited about what God is doing right now.

it's a short list, yes...but my heart overflows