Taking Stock | October

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Oh man, I fell off the wagon last month. Let’s see what’s new… I’m still doing school, just one more month left of this semester. Unfortunately, there’s way too many semesters left to go before I’m done. I’ve also started a part-time Wellness Internship with a local county department and also started a part-time job at my university’s new Money Management center. Since being laid off, it seems like my schedule has constantly changed. Hopefully, it’s leveled out now. Hopefully. Didn’t do anything exciting for Halloween, just stayed home and watched some scary movies. Pretty low key this year.

So here’s a look into my October, another chapter down in the book called 2015.

What was YOUR favorite part of this month? Comment below! If you start your own Taking Stock – leave the URL below – would love to read all about your world 🙂

This month was kicked off by

Making: new friends

Cooking: kale chips

Drinking: coffee!

Reading: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Wanting: new clothes

Looking: for answers

Playing: the game of life

Deciding: on new work schedules

Wishing: for the years to slow down

Enjoying: getting soup and wings for date nights

Waiting: to see what happens

Liking: my jobs so far

Wondering: what’s wrong

Loving: being in my pajamas whenever possible

Pondering: what to do

Considering: that I’m still lucky

Buying: nothing lately!

Watching: The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead and American Horror Story: Hotel

Hoping: to maintain my A average this semester

Marveling: at how naïve people are

Cringing: at the folks at Walmart

Needing: some new shirts and winter wear

Questioning: life

Smelling: fall air

Wearing: my hoodies more

Following: my own thoughts lately

Noticing: how happy others seem

Knowing: something good will come one day

Thinking: sad thoughts

Admiring: the differences in other people

Sorting: through donation items

Getting: more sleep!

Bookmarking: financial sites

Coveting: those new shirts!

Disliking: making less money

Opening: doors for myself

Giggling: at cute Dachshund pictures

Feeling: anxious

Snacking: on almonds. I’m addicted!

Wishing: for a sign

Helping: those less fortunate

Hearing: rain

One + Life = Four | June 7

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I’m a few days late on my Sunday “life” post but this was one exhausting weekend! My weekdays consisted of training, eating and more training. Friday, I had to get my stage tan, attend the competitor’s meeting and prep some things for the next day. Saturday was a loooooong day. Up at 4:30am and didn’t get to bed until 1:30am but it was great! The competition was amazing. I was stressed, nervous and excited but I had a super fun day and am really proud of myself. See below!

Hope you enjoy the glimpse into my life….

folks

Me and my parents after I won my trophies. I know their expressions don’t show it, but they’re really excited and happy for me 🙂 My dad rarely smiles and my mom always has the “I’m so proud I could cry” look on her face whenever we accomplish something. They’re happy people, I swear. 🙂 I couldn’t have been happier at that moment, unless there was food involved. You’ll have to wait for the professional pics to be posted to see my suit!

trophiesClose up of my trophies. The smaller one is for 2nd place in my division (Novice Figure A) and the taller one is for 3rd place in the Open class (Figure). I can finally add some trophies of my own to my husband’s collection of bodybuilding trophy shelf 🙂 There is no money for winning, just these trophies and the sheer satisfaction of knowing what I accomplished.

pancakesThese are the start of our second round of pancakes at Denny’s, after the competition. First round was IHOP, then we made a last minute decision on the way home to stop at Denny’s. We’re like hobbits and consider this second breakfast. And damn they were good!! 🙂

muffinsHealthy blueberry muffins we made on Sunday. Blueberry protein powder and real blueberries made these phenomenal! This is exactly what I meant about getting back to normal life and our regular flexible dieting. So much yummy, healthy food we hardly know where to begin!!

Taking Stock | May

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mayWhat a crazy busy month! It’s been a whirlwind of trying to maintain my sanity – between starting school, getting my volunteer stuff going and training for the comp, it’s been hectic.

So here’s a look into my May, another chapter down in the book called 2015. Let me know what you think.

Making: it through each day, the best I can.

Cooking: chicken and veggie stir fry almost nightly and loving it!

Drinking: protein coffee, protein coffee and more protein coffee 😉

Reading: Smart Women by Judy Blume – almost done!

Wanting: to try out so many new recipes and old favorites

Looking: forward to our upcoming trips in June and July. Ready to start living normal again!

Playing: around with different hair color ideas for the fall, already!

Deciding: that there are a lot of weird people in the world. Then wondering if they think I’m the weird one. ??

Wishing: for our homemade mushroom/turkey/egg burger right about now.

Enjoying: every meal I can get!

Waiting: to start my volunteer work in July – scared but excited!

Liking: the support from friends right now!

Wondering: why this couple on House Hunters would have the wife and kids move to Panama (so their kids can experience culture for the hell of it), while the husband continues to work his dentistry practice in Florida and commutes to Panama every weekend. Yes, commute to Panama EVERY weekend. He’ll work Mon-Thurs in Florida, then fly to Panama and spend time with the family. Um… okay…. that really makes no sense.

Loving: getting our vacations planned and booked

Pondering: all the restaurants and “normal” activities we’re going to try after the competition. We’re ready to have a normal, fun summer and life again.

Considering: options for the TAM conference in July. We want to go “nerd out”!

Buying: way too much lately!

Watching: more home shows like Caribbean Life and Lakefront House Hunt

Hoping: that I kick some ass at the competition!

Marveling: at the changes in my body this month.

Cringing: at this stupid cold

Needing: a massage!

Questioning: why I decided to do this competition 😉 LOL

Smelling: lots of rain this month

Wearing: sandals and my new sleeveless tops

Following: lots of new blogging friends this month, loving it!

Noticing: the grass getting greener, leaves in full bloom, and a change in the air lately

Knowing: that competition prep is almost over. Yay!

Thinking: that way too many people at Walmart have just given up in life

Admiring: the dedication and hard work that me and the hubs have been going through lately.

Sorting: out mixed feelings on a friendship

Getting: excited to buy a patio set so we can enjoy some evenings in the back yard

Bookmarking: some new books I “want to read” on GoodReads

Coveting: some new sandals and an over body purse

Disliking: doing this much cardio. Ugh!

Opening: box after box of protein powder (we’re obsessed with new flavors!)

Giggling: over little inside jokes with the hubs 🙂

Feeling: exhausted

Snacking: on protein pudding

Wishing: for some normalcy soon!

Helping: the less fortunate by donating a huge box of clothes to the MS foundation.

Hearing: lots of thunder and rain this month!

Pip from Meet me at Mikes started a taking stock list last year. Since then a number of bloggers have chosen to participate each month, including me. Want to join in + play along too? Head over to Pip’s blog, drop your link in her collection + check out other Taking Stock posts.

Being Happy vs. Being Content

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happy

While reading an article on happiness recently, I ran across something that struck a cord with me. The article was about how people are always striving to be happy. All the time. And if they’re not happy all the time, they feel as if something is wrong with their life and search for ways to fix it. I can attest to this, I’m guilty of it myself. I definitely have those days where it’s not a good or bad day, it’s just a day where nothing eventful has happened and my emotional keel is level. And I begin to wonder what I could have done to make it a better, “happier” day.

contentWhat I’ve really focused on after reading this article was the simple equation: 15/15/70, not necessarily in that order. To sum it up, a person should expect to have the super, knock your socks off type of happiness about 15% of the time, expect to be unhappy, down in the dumps about 15% of the time and strive to be content or satisfied with life about 70% of the time.

My mind was blown! I’m guilty of striving for that super happy feeling 90% of the time and only allowing for unhappy and content feelings 10% of the time. Perhaps it’s because everyone else seems to live life that way? Or because I’m a perfectionist and read too many articles on how you’re supposed to be happy? 🙂

life 2Either way, the 15/15/70 ratio really got me thinking about how I view life. The ratio has been steadily on my mind. I don’t think this is the perfect answer but it makes perfect sense. It’s unrealistic to have a 90% super happy day, every day.

Last night while rushing to get dinner ready, I was thinking about different home projects I want to complete, how busy the next few weeks are going to be, yada yada…. And I just mentally took it all in. My home, my husband and life as it is right now, as a whole. I realized that these were what comprised my daily life. These were what I came home to every night. While my socks aren’t being knocked off every day, life is good. And I realized that, for the most part, I’m content.

life 1My new goal is to strive for contention and focus on the good!

 

One + Four = Life | May 3

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Had a super busy week and a great weekend! Got to spend time with my mom (late birthday get together), friends and the hubby. Here’s a little snippet of my activities.

Hope you enjoy the glimpse into my life…

backyard

Visited my parents yesterday (late birthday visit to my dad). It was a lovely day, so we sat outside in their backyard. Here is the quaint view from the covered swing. It was great chatting with them, watching the dogs play and enjoying the lovely weather.

me

This was my second attempt at heatless waves (see you tube video by Vivian Vo-Farmer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsGuWokn47A). My first attempt, I let my hair air dry a little, then pulled it back. The overall results for both were just okay. I doubt I’ll try it again, though the ‘before’ pigtail buns are kind of nice for camping, the gym or just to pull your hair up.

pictures

My picture doesn’t do these canvas prints justice, the colors are absolutely beautiful. During our little shopping session (for my birthday a while back), my mother so kindly treated me to some lovely items. These pictures were from a cute little craft/décor store in the mall. They were 75% off, which was a huge score. I love them and can’t wait to get them on the walls!

food

I am seriously addicted to this meal. It’s white rice, veggies and shredded chicken with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, Soy Sauce and a few spices all cooked my skillet. Love the flavors! I cook this every chance I get. I do my best to savor every bite, though I really want to just inhale the deliciousness 🙂

If you’re interested in playing along, head over to Pip’s blog and drop your link in her collection + check out other One + Four = Life posts. Drop your link below as well, I would love to check them out!

5 Things I’ve Learned from Watching House Hunters

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I love House Hunters, House Hunters International and every other show like them. Absolutely love them! LOVE them! I love to see houses in the various states and overseas, the price tags, the search for the right place and people’s little nuances. I’ve been an avid watching for many years now and these are still among my favorite shows ever.

Here are 5 things I’ve learned from watching House Hunters:

  1. yogaEveryone makes more money than we do. Especially yoga instructors. It blows my mind *boom* to see people moving to Costa Rica or Paris, wanting a place big enough for their yoga studio (which looks to hold about 3 people) on a million dollar budget. Either people overseas are making major bucks and we really need to consider moving or these people are robbing banks before heading out of the country. Seriously, how do you have a million dollar budget by teaching yoga or any other routine day job? If there are routine day jobs that pay this much, where are they located and are they hiring???

2. ballsMost men’s balls are stuffed so far down their wife’s purse, one would have to root around for 13 years to actually find them. Even after you dust those puppies off, they would be shriveled and unusable so you might as well chuck them back in and only pull out at holiday parties as part of a joke. Grow a pair men! Yes, being paired up is all about compromise but, seriously, I’ve never seen so many couples move overseas for the husband’s job, leaving the wife to quit her career or continue being a stay at home mom, and end up in a place that provides a 30-60 minute commute for the guy (even though he wanted a place near work) just because the wife liked the house and threw a fit. According to the guy, “Well, since you’re going to be spending all your time here, it needs to be some place you really enjoy.” So much for more time together to explore a new country! “Bye honey, have fun spending 2 hours in traffic and all day at work. See you tonight while we’re getting ready for bed. Oh, by the way, I had a lovely day at home without you. Wish you could enjoy our new place, too. You know, if you weren’t commuting and working.” Yeah…

3. kitchenEvery country is different. For instance, in some countries, the kitchen items do not come with the house. I’m talking stuff like the fridge, stove, and sometimes even the kitchen island! People have to bring their own kitchens. WTH? What kind of logic is this? Does this mean that you need to purchase a house to fit your old kitchen stuff? Or is everything just standard, like a one size fits all, so it doesn’t matter? Either way, it’s mind boggling to me.

4. perceptionsPeople’s perceptions vary greatly. Some think this master bedroom is too small, a kitchen not updated enough and *gasp!* has carpet! Other people think a shoe box size room is perfect for their needs, want something with a compartmentalized set up (no open concept living), and either want a no maintenance yard or 3 acres of farm land.

5. house poorBudget doesn’t matter to realtors. Almost every episode starts with the person(s) giving their list of must-have’s, wants and their ideal to non-negotiable budget. And every single time, the realtor shows them a place that’s anywhere from $100-$800 over (if renting) or $50,000-$400,000 over (if buying). Now, the ones that are hundreds of thousands over are usually for those with a $1+ million budget but, still! What, you may ask, happens next? Buyers say “Wow, that’s way over our budget”, to which the realtor comes back with any combination of the following: “Oh but wait until you see the view”, “It’s gorgeous on the inside, though, you just have to see it”, “But it has everything on your wish list” and “Well, let’s just check it out any way and then you can decide”. Yeah, I’ve already decided. My budget is “X”. This home is not. But Oh… So glad it’s a beautiful home because I can stare at the beauty while I’m house poor and can’t do anything but have conversations like “oh hey family and friends, don’t I have a beautiful home, with a great view and with all the things I wanted. Better go make our top ramen and canned ravioli for dinner now. You just sit and enjoy the beauty while I start the microwave.” I would punch my realtor.

Stay tuned, there’s always more to learn….

Epic Low-Carb Chicken Burger (Re-Make)

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Decided to try out a new recipe last night and OH MY GOD, it was amazingly delicious! Absolutely loved it and can’t wait to have it again! If you decide to try it, I would love to hear your opinions and comments 🙂

We made some tweeks to the recipe. Here’s the version we made last night, original recipe below along with the nutrition info (if following original recipe). Forgot to take a picture of the finished beauty but it’s pretty dang close to the picture below (minus the lettuce, top mushroom cap and fancy plate). Enjoy! 🙂

Ingredients:

• 1.5lb lean ground turkey (this made 4- 4oz burgers and 4- 3oz burgers)
• 4 portobello mushroom caps
• 4 thin tomato slices (red)
• 1 small avocado, split between all the burger
• 4 portobello mushroom caps
• 1 cup chopped peppers (red, orange and yellow mixed)
• 2 fried eggs

Steps:

1. Set oven to 375F.
2. Wash portobello mushrooms and remove stem. Dry them with a paper towel.
3. Place them face down on baking/cookie sheet, spritz of spray butter and top with garlic.
4. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes.
5. Season ground turkey with pepper, salt, garlic, cumin, cayenne, paprika, Walden Farm’s BBQ sauce and Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce.
6. Measure out 4- 4oz burgers and 4- 3oz burgers and cook in a skillet on medium heat. Remember to flip the patty so that the inside and sides of the patty are completely cooked.
7. Make 2 fried eggs, seasoned with pepper.
8. Remove the mushroom caps from the oven, place both face up on plate. Made one w/turkey burger, tomato and avocado. Made the second burger exactly the same but added the fried egg on top. We each had 2 burgers, one with fried egg on top.
9. Can eat with your hands but we used forks. The garlic from the mushroom caps made it pretty juicy and hard to hold. Eat!

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Original Recipe:

chicken burger

Ingredients:

• 5oz lean ground chicken
• 2 portobello mushroom caps
• 1 large leaf lettuce
• 2 leaves red cabbage
• 3-4 thin tomato slices (red, yellow, green)
• 1 tbsp goat cheese
• 1/16 cup shredded carrots (or 2-3 carrot slices)
• 1/2 small avocado slices.

Steps:

1. Set oven to 375F.
2. Wash portobello mushrooms and remove stem. Dry them with a paper towel.
3. Place them face down in a baking pan and lightly spray with olive oil. Sprinkle a little sea salt and garlic.
4. Bake in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes.
5. Season with your ground chicken with your choice of seasonings. I recommend sea salt, garlic, cumin, cayenne, paprika.
6. Form a hamburger patty and cook in a skillet on medium heat. Remember to flip the patty so that the inside and sides of the patty are completely cooked.
7. Remove the mushroom caps from the oven and immediately begin to assemble your burger.
8. Place the mushroom cap face up. Add: lettuce, cabbage, tomato, chicken burger patty, goat cheese (crumble or spread), avocado, carrots.
9. Top the burger with the other end of the mushroom cap. Smash it down with your hands and eat!

Approx macros: 

nutrional-facts