Figuring it out

We finally were able to afford a gym membership with California Family Fitness. We have been going for three weeks, and I have lost 12 pounds.  I am using a handy app on my phone that helps me log all of my calories and exercising.  Of course, watching our diet and portions has helped a lot.  I have cut out the Starbucks (EEEK!) and the Vodka (GASP!).  I am feeling great, and keeping motivated to go even further.  Now to just move forward and keep going in the right direction.

In other news, my daughter has a slight cold.  I am off work the next few days to stay at home and be a mama.  I love it.  I wish I could stay with her every day.  I am sure she would love that too.  I am sure the dog would love to be home with people every day instead of alone with the cat.

I also recently started a second “job” as a Passion Parties independent sales consultant.  This second job is totally fun, and probably shouldn’t even be called a job.  I love it.  I am still building my business, and waiting for the day it can become a full-time job.  I have met so many interesting women, heard great stories, and helped women experience themselves for the first time.  It’s been great.

My life is headed in the right direction, I am just waiting to figure out what my next moves are going to be.  I am praying daily for a sign as to what my next move needs to be.  I am thankful for what we have, and I am excited to see what the future brings for my family.  Now to just keep moving in the right direction.

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Healthy Cooking Doesn’t Cost More

I keep hearing on the news that people on food stamps purchase crappy unhealthy food because it costs too much to eat healthier.  Ok, as one who just went to the grocery store for one meal, I am going to have to go ahead and call “Bull-Shit!” on that argument.  I purchased quite a bit of food, and spent about what one meal for my family at some sort of fast food joint like Taco Bell or Burger King.  The list of stuff I bought:

  • The stuff for just this meal: 
    • 3.73 lbs of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (Eating Right Chicken Breast Boneless Skinless Extreme Value Pack)
    • A Baguette of Sourdough Bread (We need a side right?!?)
    • A bottle of Cabernet
  • The stuff for this and many meals in the future: 
    • Reduced Fat Mayonnaise (the small bottle)
    • A jar of paprika
    • A jar of dried oregano leaves

Ok, now just so you know, this meal cost me $25 (Not including the bottle of wine, that was $8.99).  The meal will feed us for three nights!  It costs us $20 to get through the drive through.  And now for the kicker…the chicken breasts were not from chickens, I think they were from Godzilla.  I used three of the five chicken breasts, froze the other two, and plan on making slow cooker chicken soft taco’s with them next week!  So really, from the $25, I am getting three meals for two, and then another meal for four (my parents are coming and I plan on making the chicken soft taco’s when they are here.)

Both recipes are from the Fix it and Forget it Lightly cookbook….both take about ten minutes to prepare before work, and at these prices, who needs the drive through?

Gourmet meals with time to spare.

So many evenings, so little time.  So many mom’s and dad’s work full-time and have to come home to spend another hour on a decent meal.  I have been trying to figure out ways to eat healthier, but not spend half my evening at home cooking.  After all, I hate cooking, and I hate cleaning up after it even more.

My solution, the Crock Pot!  I purchased a crock pot recipe book that was a combination of multiple books brought together.  It has everything from beverages to desserts, healthy eating to game day favorites. I am excited because there are several healthy eating recipes that are easy to make.

I was looking at just getting the healthy version of the book, but then I decided, sometimes a girl needs a good comfort food of chili, lasagna  or whatever comfort foods the bigger book had, for not much more money, so I got the full book. We are talking about 1400 slow cooker recipes, anything you can think of, it’s in this book.  I really like how the index is organized, and the Light recipes are clearly labeled and easy to distinguish.  

I will try out the recipes and share them here as I try them, and let you know what I think, any modifications I’ve made, and any tips and tricks I think you might want to know.  After all, recipes are not a law of cooking for the most part, we will all change it up to our own tastes.  Like for one, I am not too big on artificial seasonings, so I will probably exclude them, and try my own flavorings.

Note: I have decided to do this because hey, my most popular posts are all about food and recipes. And since I am not a big cooker, great meals that take minimal prep and baby sitting are just the right recipe for me and my lifestyle. 

Sick Baby = Sick Day

I have a sick baby at home, which means I have a sick day at work!  It is making me want to stay home with her forever.    She is acting totally normal, like her happy little self.  She is coughing quite a bit and sneezing with a runny little nose.  I want to stay home with her forever, because she is my little precious girl, and I want to keep her out of school where she also could have caught something not only this time, but in the future as well.

On a semi-side note, I have been battling postpartum, and it has turned into this feeling of not wanting to leave her.  It is so weird, and a change from my previous feelings of wanting time apart from her.  Now, especially since she is growing so much and so fast, that by leaving her at school, I am going to miss all of her milestones.  It makes me want to be with her every single day, so that I don’t miss any part of her life and her development.  I was so happy yesterday that she rolled over for the first time by herself, and I was home to be with her.  I am so happy I didn’t miss it.  My husband is a little bummed he missed it, but I took some pictures and sent them to him,  so that he could at least share the moment from work.

I don’t know how I would feel if I missed her first steps or her first stab at crawling, just because I had to work in order to keep our debt on a downward trend.  I know I could quit work, but I am working for a few reasons.  So we can keep with somewhat of a lifestyle that we are used to, and so we can pay off our debt quicker.  As much as I want to stay home with her and never return to work, I know the consequences is a much higher debt for a much longer time frame, and I would rather pay that down for another year.

I wish there was a way I could figure out how to make money with my many blogs, or even finish my book and get it published.  My career of choice is one I can easily do from home, the only bad thing is, with the economy in its current state doesn’t provide for the client pool that I would need in order to afford working from home.  For some reason, when the economy tanks, people are not spending as much money on Kitchen and Bath Designers, or Interior Designers for that matter.  So now, I am here, blogging away and not at work.

I am sure I am not alone, I am sure there are other working mom’s who find that paying off debt is vital.  I want to be able to afford to give her things she wants, and needs, and not have to scrape the bottom of the barrel, and raid the couch for change, in order to afford diapers and stuff like that.  If I stayed home, that is all I could do, because we would have to sell my car to pay off some of the alleged debt, and avoid insurance gas and maintenance charges.  As much as I want to stay home with her, I think it will be better for her in the long run for me to work another year…and just hope she keeps doing her little milestones at home!

Adjusting to Motherhood

I have been a mom for four months now, and I will say, it is a definite adjustment.  It is very hard to get used to, and I have been having some trouble adjusting.  I have thought it was me, that I was selfish, that I am not cut out for this job.  I have been wondering what is wrong with me.  I have wanted a child for so long, and love having her, holding her, playing with her, and being with her, but at the same time, the adjustment is killing me.  I wonder if I am alone, I wonder if this adjustment period is hard on other women too?  I wonder if I am going to be an awful mom, or if I am going to a great mom, and this feeling I have eating me away inside effects other women.

Deep down, I know I am a good mom.  I love my daughter unconditionally.  I know I get frustrated when the sleepless nights are stacking up and there is no relief in sight, but in the end, I still hold her close and we fall asleep together on the couch.  I have been vomited on, peed and poo’d on, and it doesn’t bother me.  I just keep going.  I have held her close during her shots, and kissed her little boo-boo’s.

I have been doing research, and I have found that I am not alone.  This adjustment period happens to a lot of women, not just me.  This feeling of being completely overwhelmed happens to the best of them. Women all over the world experience this, and there are a lot of options out there for women, and support groups.  One helpful site I have found: Postpartum Progress

I won’t let this feeling I have inside, this anxiety of motherhood, this desire to run away from my life, inhibit my ability to be the best mom I can be.  There is help out there for women who feel this way.  There is help out there for women who feel that maybe they bit off more than they can chew in their new road to motherhood, or adding an additional member to their family.  There are a lot of symptoms to Postpartum Depression, and there is also a lot of ideas and ways to help.  Since I don’t want to take the easy way out, and just go directly on medication, I am going to start journaling both privately, as well as on this blog.  I want to feel like myself again, and journaling has helped me in the past with previous cases of depression, so I am hoping that it will help me again with this case.

This is a process, this is a move in the right direction, and I hope that I get from this process what I need.

A Work Look

A look I created for Work.

I created this look for work.  As many of you know, I work for a big box retailer, and so I am on my feet most of the day, and need to be comfortable.  This look is versatile also, you can wear it on a weekend outing, nights out, so many things events.  This is my first look that I have created on Polyvore.com, so expect more to come later on down the road.

Enjoy!

Working Hard at Hardly Working

Monday was my first day back at my real job.  My full time big box retailer job as a Kitchen Designer.  I had to leave my little girl at a local school.  I wasn’t worried about her having a fabulous day, I was mostly worried about me needing her and having her so far away.  I know I have been other places and left her with friends and family, and when I need my own little baby fix, I can quickly get a picture texted to me.  Monday, I wan’t able to do so.

Honestly, the day went well.  We had a big corporate walk to prepare for, so the day was over before I knew it, as everyone was keeping me busy.  My husband picked up the baby from school, and promptly sent me two pictures of her cute little face.  Having to leave her with strangers is hard, and I have realized that it is harder for me to not have her close, than it is to leave her with a stranger.  I know she will be perfectly fine, she is so sweet, happy, and loving.

Now to get through the rest of the week!  Is it too early to ask for a vacation?

The secret life of a blogger

Every once in a while, I will find a graphic on this world wide web that rings oh so true in the world of me. I found this lovely graphic on the world of Pinterest that is so true to my blogging life. A lot of people I know have this room in their house that is rarely visited, that is dubbed the “Guest Room/Home Office.” Now honestly folks, who actually uses that room for the office? I have one, but the bills are paid on the kitchen table, the blogging is done from the sofa, and many of my ideas come to me in the middle of the night, from the comforts of my bed.  So no, the office isn’t the only working space in the house, the whole house is the office.

I can’t tell you even how many times an idea has struck me in the shower, and I hop out, dripping wet, and grab the WordPress App on my smart phone just to make a quick draft to remind myself of my idea later.

I am calling this “The Secret Life of a Blogger” because I know I am not alone. I am sure the rest of the blog world is with me, in the fact that their entire home is taken over by their office space, their ideas come to them, even in the most inconvenient times, like the shower, and they are always working….even when they try to turn it off.  The creator of this graphic, DesignLoveFest.com, has a great blog entry about just this!

Working at home, blogging during naps, these are the days!