Food, Life Changes, Married Life

Salad Appreciation

I finally found a vegetable that agrees with myself and baby. It is the Ready Pac Bistro Santa Fe Style salad sold at Costco. It contains romaine lettuce, white meat chicken breast, roasted corn, four cheese blend, tortilla chips and salsa ranch dressing. Occasionally I throw away the chips but the salad is delicious. However the delicious salad is not actually what I appreciate. It’s the man who bought the salad that I appreciate.

Well as you’ve read above this salad has worked out very well for me. I have had trouble this pregnancy making sure I get enough calories. I’m overweight/ technically obese so I wasn’t too worried about it. My OB was persistent about reminding me to get enough calories so I tried to start making my calories count in the way of being nutrient packed and this salad seemed like a convenient way to make that happen. Well Monday was Costco day and that salad was at the top of the list! We arrived and immediately set about getting everything on our list including 2 fans that we bought because they were on sale. Finally we get to the salad section. We both looked everywhere and hubby even checked behind things in case someone dropped one. But nothing… All the other salads were there just not the one I wanted. We finished our shopping and went to checkout. The whole time I was trying to figure out how to get my salad while holding back very irrational tears. We got to the front and I flat out asked when the next shipment was expected only to be told they’ll be unpacking it tomorrow. Without missing a beat, hubby says we’ll be back tomorrow.

The entire ride home I was sad and trying not to cry because seriously it’s a salad not an organ or vital medicine. As I tried to talk myself out of crying, hubby assured me he felt my pain and would understand if I cried. Finally, we’re home and he tells me he’ll unload the car so I can go inside. He finishes up and asks if I want ice cream which I found odd since I was too full at dinner to have dessert. I said no but he could check for creamer if he liked. He took off to the store and I didn’t give it much thought as I knew he just wanted to make me feel better. A while passed and I started to get worried. I figured maybe he stopped somewhere and would refrain from harassing him for a few more minutes. Right as I was checking my phone, he shows up with TWO packages of salad bowls which makes a total of 8 bowls!! I couldn’t contain my excitement. I immediately turned off my show and gave him the remote so he could game.

As most people, especially pregnant people, know this is not about the salad. This is another thing that shows me he loves me in a very physical way. He didn’t have to get off work, go to dinner (his food didn’t defrost at all because it was a frozen ball of chicken), go grocery shopping, unload the car then turn around and drive to two different Costco locations just to get the salad I wanted. ALL RIGHT AFTER WORK on a Monday!! His level of appreciation and love is, in my opinion, the kind I wish for everyone especially hormonal pregnant people. He could have let it go, bought the ingredients for the salad or just waited but he didn’t. He actively went out of his way to make me happy and for that I was extremely grateful. I don’t usually post on our anniversary and I don’t need a holiday to tell me when to appreciate him because everyday can be a special day. Every day can be an opportunity to show love, respect and appreciation for the man I love. And this is one of those days.

Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com
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Life Changes, Parent Life

WAHM – One Year Anniversary

As I mentioned a while ago, I am now a Studio Manager/ Personal Assistant. I started off putting in a lot of hours in the studio so I could get the lay of the land. Slowly I started transitioning to 90% of my time being from home. Since getting pregnant, it’s more like 100% of my time is from home.

I had a romanticized version of what working at home with a toddler would look like. I thought, this will be the best thing ever. There was going to be perfectly scheduled time for everything and I’d have wiggle room whenever I needed it. I could earn money from home while being with my little man. What could be better?! Well… this isn’t a scary story but there are a few positives and negatives that were unexpected. I’ll name them and elaborate if necessary.

Pros of being WAHM

  • Commute is awesome
  • Dress code is at most casual at very least kid friendly
  • Watch him grow and learn new things
  • Can be there when he’s sick
  • Can work when I’m sick unless I lose my voice
  • Pregnancy related nausea & vomiting don’t interrupt my day too much
  • Frequent bathroom breaks without anybody caring
  • Can control food smells because it’s only myself and co-worker (toddler) during lunch
  • House is maintained because I can wash clothes while on a call or clean during my break

Cons of being WAHM

  • You work longer without realizing it because you’re at home and can check/ respond to work any time
  • No adult co-workers to chat with throughout the day
  • Toddler meltdowns can make phone calls very stressful
  • Not having a dedicated office space is tough
    • Distractions are common
    • Must move all work items at the beginning and end of the work day
    • Not having a proper desk and chair puts stress on the body especially while pregnant
  • Overeating
    • You are getting snacks for your child and you are right by the refrigerator

Parent Life, Reviews, Travel

SeaQuest – Folsom, CA

It has been raining a lot in Sacramento, CA. We went from barely any rain to what feels like daily showers. I am not complaining because I love the rain as it is the best for my allergies and asthma. However, as the work from home mom of a toddler, it is getting tough. I have a hard enough time trying to safely entertain him as it is; he prefers the thrill of jumping off of and climbing onto things that aren’t made for that purpose. So I made it a point to find something fun for him to do on Sunday (3/3/19).

I was inspired when I saw a local radio personality post about SeaQuest on their Instagram. I did my research and planned the trip. Once I mentioned it to my husband he reminded me that he told me first and wanted to go.

On Sunday, we ate breakfast then headed to Folsom, CA where the nearest SeaQuest is located. Upon arrival the building doesn’t look like it could contain an aquarium or really anything with animals but looks can be deceiving. We ran into other parents who confirmed we were indeed at SeaQuest; so my first word of advice is to find others who can point you in the right direction. I’ll include a list of suggestions/ helpful hints at the end of the post. Once we finally checked in, the fun began. I don’t want to ruin it or make it sound too fun but we enjoyed watching our son go from section to section exploring the land and sea creatures. We also plan on returning during off peak hours to enjoy the other things employees told us about as we visited the different areas. Enough writing, below are a few pictures we took along with my helpful hints/ suggestions. Please note I took more pictures however I don’t want to ruin the experience by showing everything.

Entering from the right going towards Fantasy Caves

Helpful Hints/ Suggestions:

  • Arrive Early
  • Buy Tickets Online ($2 discount as of 3/3/19)
  • Wear good walking shoes
  • Visit during off peak hours (we were told weekdays esp 4pm – closing)
  • For check-in, prepare to wait in a long and somewhat confusing line
  • You can touch some of the aquatic creatures but make sure to wash your hands before and after for the safety of creatures and yourself
  • You can pay to feed or hold the creatures
  • https://folsom.visitseaquest.com/

Life Changes, Married Life

Car Shopping

I bought my dream vehicle on 12/31/18!

Let’s back up a little. My old car still worked and I had no plans of buying a car until my Chevy was dead. I’m not the type to upgrade simply because I want to or can afford it. I only upgrade when I’m forced to (breaks or isn’t worth fixing). However we were in a car accident and the insurance company totaled it. We had a feeling it was going to happen so we started seriously looking up vehicles that were both practical and orange.

The search was narrowed down to Ford Edge, Ford Escape or Toyota Rav4. As soon as we physically looked at the vehicles, we knew the Escape was out because it was a little too small for our needs. Then the battle began. Ford or Toyota? This was one of many questions on my mind for weeks with no clear answer. I agonized over the decision because I knew this would be the car I kept for hopefully the next 10 years. Finally we found it. An orange Ford Edge with lift gate, power everything and an amazing sound system (allegedly). But by the time we wanted to check it out, it was gone… The search continued.

Fast forward a few weeks and I left it all up to my husband. My reasoning was he enjoyed haggling and is into cars anyways so I might as well let him do his thing. We took a test drive for both so I knew the color would be the deciding factor. Well he came through. We had to travel almost an hour but he found it. It was orange, power everything and it had a sunroof. I would’ve been happy with the first two but the sunroof sent me over the edge and I knew I was in love. We left our son with my mom and headed to the dealership. It started off strange because no one was there. We eventually found a wonderful salesperson who was great and did everything he could to help us unfortunately no deal. We even went back but it was over what we wanted to spend by $500…

I was heartbroken and the only thing that could fix it was tasty food! We headed to a restaurant so I could talk and eat my feelings. I told my husband, while also telling myself, that it was okay and I trusted his judgement especially since he was right about the flooring (that’s another story). As I tried my best to eat my feelings and not cry, my husband smiled and said I already have a replacement I just didn’t want to drive that far. My eyes lite up as he showed me the pictures. He asked if I wanted him to call and I said yes! Everything was worked out before we went so the next day everything went smooth. I couldn’t believe I was getting my dream car at a price we could afford. I was in total shock when, after hours of waiting, I was handed the keys. It was late and we had an over 2 hour drive ahead but I was determined to get a picture with the giant bow. With pictures taken, I was off to drive my dream car home all by myself with husband and son following behind.

The drive home was the most emotional ride I’ve taken next to bringing my son home from the hospital. I laughed, cried and felt incredibly grateful. I realized a new level of trust and appreciation for my husband and the life we’ve built together. After the honeymoon glow, vacations, first child, first home, job changes, financial ups and downs and car accidents, it was the car buying experience that has taught me the most about love and trust. Leaving the first dealership felt gut wrenching but trusting my husband and proving it by following his lead turned out way better than I imagined and solidified what I already knew… My husband is amazingly perfect for me.

Food, Health/ Fitness, Reviews

Gardein: Classic Meatless Meatballs

I’ve bought Gardein products before (with my own money) and plan on going through all the items they have at my local stores. When Social Nature gave me a voucher for a free item, I was thrilled! I could’ve picked anything but I already tried the Mini Crabless Cakes and Seven Grain Crispy Tenders, I figured I’d pick something different.

I chose the Classic Meatless Meatballs! They’re delicious, crispy and filling. I cooked them in my airfryer on 400° for about 18min. I realized after the fact that this was way too long. So avoid my mistake and make sure you don’t overcook it. I’ve included a picture of the nutritional facts and ingredients so I’m not going to go over them. In case you’re trying to avoid it, I would like to point out that this product does have soy and wheat. Below are just a few ways I used them.

Tortilla, cheese & homemade tomato sauce
Spaghetti & Meatless Meatballs
Loaded Fries
Health/ Fitness, Life Changes, Parent Life, Pregnancy

PPB Update/ Baby News

I started off determined to stick to a primarily plant-based (PPB) lifestyle. I had meals planned, groceries purchased and was off to a great start. I slowly became forgetful, thoughtless then down right turned off by anything that wasn’t tacos and french fries. Alcohol, even my precious red wine, seemed unbearable. Well a few days later I figured out why. I’M PREGNANT!!!

I won’t know the gender until my husband reveals it to me because I want to be surprised like I was with our son but this time I haven’t given him a timeline. Being a great husband he agreed but said it might not be the same day he finds out. I’m fine with it because I already have the boy I hoped for so any additional babies are a wonderful bonus.

Pregnancy Highlights:

  • I haven’t gained any weight
  • Food aversions change daily sometimes even meal by meal
  • Nausea is still a thing depending on what baby decides
  • I’m exhausted way more then with my son
  • Eating feels like a chore
  • No swelling!!! this was a problem with my previous pregnancy
  • Sleeping sucks because our son still likes to sleep in our bed
  • Despite everything listed above, I often forget I’m pregnant
  • Due to the things above, this baby will have less things written and more videos

PPD Goals:

  • Return to PPD as soon as my appetite improves
  • Eat chicken and seafood until after delivery
  • RESEARCH how to switch to PPD the healthy way i.e. making sure to get enough protein from plant/ nut sources
  • Use my treadmill especially when I feel like eating all the meats
Life Changes, Uncategorized

It’s been a while…

Quick update before I start regular posts!

  • Car accident
    • lots of chiropractor visits
  • Car totaled
  • Officially working 95% from home
    • there will be an entire post on this and things I’ve learned
  • Researching schools for my little human
    • might try homeschooling
  • Car shopping
  • Dealing with an aging dog and not wanting to face his mortality
  • Reviewing finances
    • before physically going car shopping
    • this might be a post…
  • Planning family outings
  • Writing out annual and long-term goals
  • Coping with feeling like a vegetarian failure
    • I’m not giving up!!! I’ll explain why this became tricky in a post

Hair/Beauty, Life Changes, Self Care

Professional Hairdresser Experience

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I keep forgetting to put this post up.

A while ago my dad (step-dad), treated my mom, sister and I to a day of pampering. It came out of nowhere! No special occasion or event; he simply surprised us. My dad’s literal words were “Do you have to work Saturday?” I replied and then it was set. We all met at the salon and got the works (mani/pedi/hair).

It had been a long while since I’d been to a professional stylist as I do my own hair. However my dad was so sweet as to do this I viewed her Instagram page and went to the appointment knowing exactly what I wanted. I wanted the one style I was usually too lazy to do myself: flat iron!!

I’m no fanatic but I do treat my hair with special care before applying heat so I was extremely excited and nervous about my experience. I knew I couldn’t let a new person cut/ trim my hair plus I’d already done it so I declined that part. She started off by explaining the process, telling me about the products and saying something I’d never heard before. She told me I had a lot of hair but it was fine. I was shocked. I was always told how thick my hair was so this was news to me. However when I started thinking about everything I knew it made total sense. Curly it looked like it went on forever but straight or wet most of it seemed to disappear and that was why. Other than that shocking info the rest of the experience was as if I did it myself with regards to the care and attention given.

The results as well as the first wash after the service are above. I waited because I wanted to make sure there was no heat damage then I forgot… All in all it was great experience and I would (will) do it again!!

PS – The only reason I didn’t include her contact info is because I didn’t ask. If you’re curious then message me on Instagram and I”ll share

Life Changes, Self Care

Self-care

 

Things have changed. I’m working, failing at being primarily plant-based and other stuff. Most noteworthy has been my mental health. I debated mentioning this but decided it could help my son when he’s older. I hope he realizes there is nothing to be ashamed of, embarrassed about or fearful of because it can happen to anyone. Before I start, I’m not taking anything as I don’t think it is that bad however if you do need help do not hesitate to seek a professional. In my case, I sought comfort from my family.

It started when I was having a hard day. I wasn’t sleeping, everything went from great to horrible over the smallest things and I didn’t seem to enjoy anything. By all accounts, I thought my depression was coming back. I feared not being able to handle everything with a smile on my face. Embarrassed that I lacked endurance because all of this took place in only a few months. And I was ashamed of not being able to balance everything perfectly. Holding everything in was turning me into an emotional monster.

One day I decided to blurt it all out no matter how crazy I thought it made me look. I was nervous as I’d built up a terribly dramatic scene in my head. Thankfully all went well. My husband comforted me and reminded me that taking time for myself is important. Actually following through with what we discussed was extremely hard since I’m not good at relaxing…

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Step 1 – Logging off

I stopped checking social media which included watching vlogs. I started comparing my life to the ones I saw which isn’t fair because most only put up the good stuff and even “regular” moments seemed to look shiny compared to my own.

 

Step 2 – Getting the basics done

I knew there was no way I could relax if I didn’t clean my house to my satisfaction and check off certain things on my to do list for work. I’m the type of person who has to have clean, organized space or my mind feels cluttered. I stopped fighting and used my first (and second) day alone to do just that!

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Step 3 Relaxing

I never thought I’d be able to do this! Technically I’m writing this post, working, making grocery list, light cleaning (I truly enjoy cleaning) and planning my return to healthy lifestyle changes. But I am truly relaxed (for me…). Like previously stated, I enjoy getting things done and though I should’ve continued to do nothing it just isn’t in my nature.

Was my time alone perfect? No. Was I relaxing the whole time? Nope. Did I enjoy myself? Absolutely! I may have times when my emotions go haywire and I don’t enjoy anything but now I have steps to get me back into the right head space. I also have people I can talk to that will help me come back down off of the emotionally dangerous ledge. So here are my keys to success*:

  • identify the problem(s)
  • talk to someone including a professional if necessary
  • make a plan
  • follow through

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*this is not medical/ professional advice; this is what works for me 🙂
Food, Health/ Fitness, In the beginning, Life Changes

Update -Primarily Plant-based

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Made this after grocery shopping!

The first week of my Pescatarian/ Vegetarian lifestyle was easy. It was fresh in my mind and I was filled with blind determination. I knew what I wanted to do and I made sure to stay close to home so I wouldn’t be tempted to revert to my old eating habits. I felt great. My mind and intestines felt clear. I’m not sure if this was in my head or real but I loved the feeling. I wanted to keep it going but I still hadn’t bought groceries so I kind of fell off on the weekend. Not horribly but still not what I planned.

Week two was just plain sad… It was so sad I didn’t even track how many good days I had. As far as how I felt, I didn’t have the same clear, excited feeling. I was slightly stressed, distracted and questioning every decision I’ve ever made as an adult. Some of those things were huge and caused a lot of unnecessary anguish. I won’t say my new lifestyle was the cause because I don’t know. What I took from the first two weeks:

  • Don’t be a junk food pescatarian/ vegetarian
  • Be prepared
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not perfect
    • esp if you’re not a vegetable lover…
  • Have a backup plan when you’re on the go
  • Don’t skip meals unless you are planning to fast
    • this is not medical advice
  • Keep a food journal or at least jot down food you weren’t planning on eating
    • Ex: in my case it would be any meat other than fish

The picture at the top was the first meal I planned after going grocery shopping. It was a big deal because I wasn’t a fan of cucumbers. However I am challenging myself to try vegetables I don’t like. Sure I don’t love them but I’m glad I went for it because now I find them tolerable. The takeaway is give yourself leeway without completely forgetting your original goal(s).