Friday, December 30, 2011

Took the wrong exit, time to double back

So when we started this blog I was so pumped up. I had a plan, was going to revamp my life things were going to happen. Now several months later not so much. I have made some changes that have been positive. For the most part my downstairs living area and both bathrooms are usually in pretty good shape but that is all I keep up with household wise. Well laundry too of course. Financially, I am slightly better but haven't made the changes I need to make.
Changing your habits and lifestyle is hard, and since I haven't set out and did what I wanted to do I think I need to come up with a new plan/system/routine or something. I am going to give myself until the third to write a list of what I think my biggest problems are, what they are stopping me from doing and what I can do to change things or stay motivated depending on the situation.
I have found in the past few months something that motivates me to keep the house clean, company! Every Sunday we have lunch and invite anywhere from 2 to 20 people. I will put in the extra effort during the week to keep the house up and then I know Sunday morning I have to straighten everything up. I then enjoy a nice lunch with my company and clean up as I go. So Sunday afternoon or night when everyone is gone the house is still in good shape and I can relax. It really works for me, and I get to spend time with people I enjoy instead of the old we should get together (but never do.)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chayote Squash

I actually had never heard of Chayote Squash.  While grocery shopping recently, I really took my time and browsed all of the produce.  Touching, smelling, looking like a weirdo, haha!  I came across the Chayote Squash.  They looked sort of like pears and peeked my interest.  And at 2/$1.00 I couldn't resist.  I grabbed two of them having no idea what they taste like or how to cook them.  When I got home I googled "Chayote Squash" and came across this recipe on that sounded tasty and it had good reviews.   I followed the recipe except I doubled it and used lime juice in place of the vinegar as many reviewers suggested.  I also used a packet of Truvia in place of the sugar.  And I didn't add the red pepper flakes because I wanted my little guy to eat them. (I guess I altered the recipe alot, ha!)  I was going to add the red pepper flakes to my plate after cooking...but I forgot when I took my first bite.  It was so good I just continued to gobble up every tasty Chayote morsel on my plate.  (so good, I forgot to take a pic before we ate it all.)  It was sort of apple-y tasting, but not as sweet.  Not summer or winter squash like at all.  So two of these suckers cost me a total of $1.00 and fed all four of us as a side dish with dinner and I had a (very) small amount left over to have with my lunch the next day.  Can't beat that!  Without question, we will be enjoying Chayote on a regular basis.  Suits our taste buds and wallet :p

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mama needs a new routine!

Sometimes I feel like there just aren't enough hours in the day for me.  Well, there are too many in my work day...but once I get home I feel like it is just time to go to bed and start my work day all over again.  I hate feeling like all I do is go to work. I work about 45 minutes from home.  I try to leave the house by 7:00am to make sure I arrive to work on time without rushing. My family is all still sleeping when I leave.  I tip toe around trying not to wake them.  I call home a couple times a day to talk to the hunny and my little man.  But it kills me to be so far away from home.

I get out of work at 5pm and the commute home drives me a little insane.  It's not so much that there is an abundance of traffic since I travel the opposite direction of the heavy traffic.  It's not so much the distance, although I have experienced working in the same city I live and I miss it tremendously.  My problem is a two-parter... All of the idiots on the road and my road rage.  A good part of my commute is on a one lane (each direction) highway.  This is TORTURE for me.  All it takes is one frigging moron to clog up the flow of traffic.  There is NO getting in the next lane and passing them...not that I haven't broken the law and passed "granny pants" when I see an opening in traffic on the opposite side.  I don't want to be in a rush...I just always am, even when I have no place to be by a specific time.  Something about driving and not being able to just step on the gas and go because of someone's stupidity really agitates me.  I do not wish harm on anyone, but there have been countless times when I have said to myself, "there had BETTER be a damn accident up there".  How shitty is that?!

I ride ass, honk my horn, flip the bird, scream (sometimes so hard that my throat hurts), call people (mostly elderly and women drivers) the most horrible names that I challenge the foulest mouth truck driver to possibly be more filthy.  I have issues when in my car - alone.  When someone else is in the car, the rage is still there but the situations are laughable.  When my son is in the car,  it is still there but I pretend it is not.  I don't flip out, yell obscenities or make any of my numerous hand gestures. If it is just me and my daughter in the car, she now sees some of my "driving alone" behavior.  It is still toned down quite a bit though.  She truly believes me (and laughs uncontrollably) when we are driving through our neighborhood and I threaten these little punks that I will "smash your asses off" when they walk right off the sidewalk and in front of my car... while it is moving.  I have to slam on the brakes to not hit them and then they cross the street taking their sweet time, skinny jeans hanging off their asses.  I know they can't walk (or waddle) any faster because their pants would fall down.

I got a little side tracked just thinking about tomorrow's commute.  Anyway, the point I was trying to make was simply, that my commute is stressful.  By the time I get home it is just about 6pm.  That is provided I don't have to stop at the store for anything or have any appointments.  I get home and have to immediately start cooking dinner so we can eat by 6:45-7:00.  Wolf down my food, wash the dishes, clean up any mess, try and get some play time in with my son.  But lately I feel like all I do is yell at him after work.  I am tired from working and cranky from driving home.  Since the time change, I often have a headache when I get home from the oncoming headlights and in my rear view.  Some nights they are migraines which leave me completely useless.  All I can do is crawl into bed and hope to just fall asleep.

My hubby is home with the boy all day long and he does a great job with playing with him, teaching him new things and expanding his creativity.  My man has the patience of Mother Theresa...and I simply do not.  I envy it and I feel like the bitchy mom when I get home.  My hubby does clean (more than he used to) but he does not cook.  Not that he won't.  He simply has little to no experience in the kitchen.  He makes a slamming grilled cheese, and can grill the bajeezus out of some hot dogs...but as far as cooking a meal goes, it is all me.  We have been utilizing the slow cooker more often and that is awesome.  I either prepare everything the night before to just be tossed in or if it is simple, I have him do it all.  There is nothing better than walking in the door after work and smelling dinner all cooked.  Knowing all I have to do is hang up my coat and grab a bowl and I will be chowing down :p...  <---- that's drool, ha!  But on the days when we don't slow cook, I am in the kitchen as soon as I get home from work.  My son is almost three and quite the handful.  Getting into everything, running into walls (on purpose), coloring on doors and window sills, (Whoever invented washable crayons and markers should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize).  You want the boy to be quiet...but typically if he is quiet he is getting into something he shouldn't be.  As much as I can't stand the screeching and jumping off the couch pretending he is Spiderman or Ironman at least I know exactly what is going on in the other room.  I try to confine him to the kitchen table with crayons or some other project that will occupy him quietly for the next 1/2 hour but he usually wiggles away after about 5 minutes and is creeping around the stove.  Then I have to lock him in the living room behind the gate.  I feel rushed and stressed and crabby... and mean.  I know that Daddy needs a break so I don't complain when he takes off to his studio moments after I get home.  Even on the days when he hangs around for my sake, I tell him to go take a break, "I got this".  I mean it...but I don't.  It's kind of the equivalent of a woman saying, "Don't get me anything for Christmas"... You know that you better be opening SOMETHING on xmas.  I know how it is to spend a whole day with a toddler who seems to have an unlimited supply of energy and the loudest superhero sound effects EVAH!  I know how it is to just not be able to wait for someone to come home and rescue me from the non stop chatter and hearing myself constantly repeating the words, "no", "stop", "get out of there", "get off the dogs",  "eat your food", "stop playing with your food", "I'm not going to tell you again", "this is the last time I am going to say it", "Oh my god, am I telling you the same thing AGAIN".  I know this all too well and I only deal with my son, one on one, one or two days a week from like 10am-5pm.  The hubby does this five days a week from 7am-6pm.  More than wanting Daddy to stay and entertain the boy while I get dinner ready, I wish I could juggle my afterwork routine better.  Keep the boy entertained, get dinner ready, clean up, relax.  I know plenty of other woman do this.  BUT HOW?  I need some suggestions, stat!

I feel like there is no winding down.  I go from talking to annoying customers and sometimes even more annoying co-workers, to my road rage filled drive home, knowing the whole drive home I have to get dinner ready and dishes washed.  Sometimes hoping the little guy is sleeping so I can just get everything done without interruption.  Please don't get me wrong, I love my life and my family.  I love when I am walking up the stairs and I can hear him through the door - he hears me coming and he says to Daddy, "Here she comes!", all excited.  It always puts a huge smile on my face.  I love opening up the door and he runs over to me and hugs my legs.  I know he missed me just as much as I missed him.  I just wish I had some time in between getting home and getting dinner started to devote to unwinding and talking and playing with my son, no interruptions.  Just chill time with my boy, nothing else on my mind, but what he is telling me.   Maybe then, both of us would be calmer.  He probably can't sit still and quiet down because this is the first time he has seen me all day long.  He has a lot to tell me.  So many things to show me.  He needs to show me how he perfected his Spiderman jumps off the couch and his new and improved webs.  And I truly want to see, hear and experience all of  it, I just wish I had a way to brush off my stankadank attitude beforehand.   How the hell do mom's with more than one young child do it?  I might explode if that was my case, haha!

I'm not the only full time working mom, with road rage and a toddler, am I?

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I took a little break from blogging for a few weeks.  But I'm back!!!!!!  In the past few weeks I have:
  • Discovered Clean Eating and it makes perfect sense!
  • Purchased, tasted, and fell in love with the Larabar
  • Learned how to make my own Larabars, which is awesome because I can't afford to love store bought ones!
  • Made the most delish chocolate cake and brownies out of BEANS!!!  DO NOT KNOCK IT!
  • Donated a trash bag full of toys and clothes to Salvation Army
  • Enjoyed Thanksgiving and did not make a pig of myself - at all
  • Started a new Christmas tradition with my son with the Elf on the Shelf.
  • Completed the third and final memory quilt for my boss.
  • Realized that I need to change my payment policy for quilts :(
  • Received 4 new orders for quilts, one of which is a Memory Quilt!
  • Completed all Christmas gift shopping, (except for finishing touches for stockings and my Salvation Army Angel)
  • Learned to like water - unsweetened and with out artificial flavorings.  WHAT WHAT?!?!?!
  • Decided to try at least one new food every week.
  • Joined the Green Monster Movement
  • I have lost 3 more pounds
  • Received my 5 finger sneakers but they didn't fit on my Frankenfoot, so I had to return :(
  • Ohhhhhhhhhhh and my daughter has started GED prep classes!!!!!!  (Very proud :)
I am feeling very healthy in every aspect of my life.  Family, health, finances, everything except my house cleaning, I've been slacking a little.  I need to nip that in the bud and get back on track.  I have been on a Clean Eating and couponing rampage, so the house is a mess, trying to find room for everything.  Part of this weekend's goals were to get the front hall and kitchen back under control.  I heard the hubby in the front hall looking for paper towels a few days ago and I thought he was going to turn into the Hulk and start tossing everything in a rage.  Haha!  There is A LOT of stuff out there -  Part of which I think I will be donating because I scored majorly coupon-wise on canned soups, cream of whatever soups, canned broth, and those fruit snacks that my son adores.... But that was all one to two weeks before I discovered Clean Eating (by mistake) and now I don't want to eat any of those foods or feed them to my family.  I stumbled upon Clean Eating when I came across an email from Circle of Moms that read "HowArtificial Ingredients Can Lead to Artificial Kids".  You can read the article here.  I read the article and immediately thought of my son.  He is instantly affected by certain foods.  He will be sitting still one minute and then give him some processed snack or food and he is zooming within a couple bites.  It makes my hubby's day very trying to say the least.  And I was feeling it on the weekends when I mainly "deal" with the results of his eating a diet (unknowingly) packed with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and exorbitant amounts of sugar masked behind scientific names.  From that article in Circle of Friends, I found my way to the author's website,  I became a bit obsessed with reading all of her posts and recipes, and printed out her 6-week challenge and went to town on cleaning up our acts.  I started making changes immediately.  I have noticed a difference in my little man's behavior.  He is still a VERY active almost three year old, nothing is going to change that (nor do I want to), but he seems to have a bit more control over himself now that he is eating almost nothing processed.  We are continuing to make healthy changes so I will update my findings on how Clean Eating is working for my family.

As for myself, I have never felt better.  I am still significantly overweight, but I am not stressing it.  I am eating healthy and Clean.  I am exercising (not as much as I should, but adding more movement every day).  I have more energy.  I do not feel exhausted like I did before when I wasn't Eating Clean.  I am eating delicious whole foods (food with little to no refining or processing and containing no artificial additives or preservatives; natural or organic food.)  I know that by continuing to eat clean the pounds will come off effortlessly and I will never feel deprived of scrumptious foods.

Since starting to eat clean I have lost a little over 3 lbs in about a week.  I am not counting calories anymore, I am just eating when I am hungry and only eating whole (unprocessed) foods.  I am never hungry.  I am never stuffed.  I am always satisfied.  I eat every 2-3 hours and drink a shit ton of water.  No juice, no soda.  I have discovered some new (to me) delicious healthy foods and I know that I will never go back to eating processed SHIT food again.  Just reading all of the crap that is listed on most packaged food in the grocery store infuriates me.  I just don't understand the manufacturer's "need" to add all of this crap and chemicals to the foods we eat and feed our growing children.  Many of these ingredients are proven to cause obesity, brain damage, behavioral problems, cancer, and many other ailments/diseases.  I will no longer allow any processed food in my house and since I am the primary food shopper and cook, it will be easy to control.   No one seems to miss the old processed stuff.  Well that is not entirely true... my son constantly asks for his Captain America snacks and chocolate milk and whenever we are out he asks for McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts and I deny him every time.  My hubby asked for and received Burger King last weekend.  The hardest to break will be my teenage daughter, the junk food-a-holic.  But she will have to get herself a job if she wants to eat shit because she won't find it in the house.  Funny story:  My daughter was out one afternoon and all of the sudden she came running in the house and running for the bathroom.  She comes out a few minutes later and said, OMG, I had to poop so bad.  I asked her if her stomach was upset.  She said no, it was a normal poop but she wasn't ready because she already went yesterday and she usually only goes once every 3 or 4 days.  UM WHAT?!!!  I said what, you only go every 3-4 days?  She said yeah, but since I've been eating home more I have to go more.  I said, yeah...When you eat can't shit.  She started cracking up and said, yeah I guess so.  I proceeded to overload her with all of the "fun facts" I discovered by reading about Clean Eating and all of the side effects from eating a diet full of highly processed foods.  She was amazed but she is addicted to sugar and all of her convenient foods.  She is 17 and isn't too interested in her health at this time.  One day she will come around.  But, in the meantime, she will have a hard time finding anything processed and junky at home.

Everyone in the family better get used to it because this is not a diet, it's our new way of life.

Golden Beets


The first new food I tried this month was golden beets.  I have just recently learned to like red beets over the summer.  I HATED them my whole life.  I guess I just never had them prepared in a way that appealed to me, because once I made them, my way, I became addicted to them.  So I figured I would give golden beets a whirl.  I am SO glad I did!!!!!  Instead of steaming the beets in a foil packet like I normally do, I roasted them.  I peeled and chunked the beets along with two sweet potatoes and an onion.  I tossed with a little bit of EVOO, sea salt and pepper and roasted on a large cookie sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up) at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes.  

I stirred them around once about 20 minutes through.  O-M-G!!!  They were SO damn good!  All of the veggies had a yummy caramelization going on which added some sweetness.  Golden beets don't taste as "beety" or earthy to me.  They are milder and they don't stain your hands or anything else they come in contact with.  I will definitely be making these again, no question!

SO GOOD!  Hubby and I ate the whole entire pan of veggies!