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prepare to drool

Hey!

I can’t believe the weekend is already over!  Summer is flying by.

Yesterday, Jon and I spent most of the day cleaning.  Thankfully Jon offered to tag team it with me…and it still took us over 3 hours!  We did the hard core, twice a year kind of clean.  The whole time I just kept envisioning how great it was going to feel once it was done. And it was so worth it.  I love waking up to a clean house!  The only downside = it can only go down from here:(

Here’s a glimpse of our freshly cleaned crib;)

my side of the office – where all the CSM action goes down

Jon’s side

living room (and Olive’s tail end:)

living room, dining room, kitchen (and again…Olive’s tail end:)

dining room and kitchen

kitchen

and last, but not least – our bedroom

Tour over.

Of course we took food breaks throughout our day of torture cleaning

green beans (click for recipe) from my step-dad’s garden.

Clark – if you’re reading…I need more green beeeeaaaannnnssss!!!!

leftover salad minus the veggie burger this time

Whole Soy blueberry yogurt, raw oats, Kashi U and fresh blackberries (the star of the show)

And dinner – leftover tempeh spaghetti sauce over whole wheat pasta.  Sides = ezekiel bread w/earth balance and garlic + swiss chard and chopped pattypan squash sauteed in olive oil, garlic and a dash of lemon juice

Dear beloved green beans,  you may now have a new green rival.

We got up and went to early service and Sunday school this morning.  I took a green monster to-go (running late of course:) and drank it during the service.

For lunch, we were both craving pancakes for some crazy reason – here’s what I came up with!

I used Hodgson Mill Buckwheat pancake mix, which includes 1 egg (organic free range of course) and 1 tbsp of oil

2 cakes layered with plain Whole Soy yogurt + fresh blackberries

makes my heart go pitter patter.

I need not explain how delicious they were.

The rest of my eats today were very random.  They included things like bran flakes and soy milk, tons of watermelon and more leftover green beans. hehe.

That’s all for today friends.  I’ve gotta be up and at ‘em early because I have a 9:30 am orthodontist appt. on the other side of creation (ie my hometown).  Hoping to get in a run first!

Hope you all have a great start to your week!  Thanks to all who entered in the chia seed giveaway!  Winners will be announced tomorrow!

How do you and your significant other handle cleaning?  Do you tag team?  Or is one person usually in charge? Last year while I was teaching and commuting, Jon took care of almost all the housework (swoon).  But now that I’ve got more time, I have taken back over a lot of it.  While I don’t love the actual act of cleaning…I do love keeping my house and making my husband HAPPY:) Plus, I LOVE the feeling of a spic and span house.

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more news!

Hey!

Today has been a better day.  I chatted with my sister for a couple of hours this afternoon, and she pepped me up a little bit.

Somebody please explain to me why I need to be told to quit analyzing everything and MOVE ON! I am trying to cut myself a little slack because this has been a really serious and hard decision.  But now that the decision has been made, there really is no reason to dwell on it.  It is just a work in progress methinks:)

I’m realizing how much of an emotional person I really am through this process. I no sooner sat down in my principal’s office yesterday than I got all choked up.  I couldn’t even get a word out!  While I was a little bit mortified, I also really wanted to express to her how much of an attachment I have to the school.  Mission accomplished. I mean, if she doesn’t know that I care at this point, then I don’t have two webbed toes.  did I just say that out loud?

Annnyway.  Before I left to meet up with Mohammad earlier (the student I’m tutoring), I somehow forgot to grab a snack.  I didn’t sweat it too much though, figuring I would be distracted enough during our meeting.  However, after receiving a phone call 5 minutes after I arrived at the coffee shop saying he was going to be an hour late, I knew I wasn’t going to make it.  So, I rushed home and grabbed this

Van’s Lite Waffle covered in almond butter

I really love these waffles.  The flavor of them is just too good, and the ingredients are great.  Plus – they only have 70 calories per serving (1 waffle)!  Win, win, win!

I tried to be at least a little productive before heading back to the coffee shop, but there just wasn’t enough time to get much done.

Thank you Mohammad for virtually taking up 2.5 hours of my afternoon.  At least he’s funny, though. Today he asked me if he could come live with Jon and I…at which point I about fell out of my chair.

I had an exchange student, K,  from Germany last year, and at one point during the year she was having trouble with her host family.  The exchange student coordinator emailed me one day and asked if K could come live with Jon and I.  Really?  Shouldn’t you have some experience raising kids before you take on a full-blown teenager?!

I politely declined.

I digress.

By the time I got home tonight, it had gotten rather late, and I was trying to think of something for dinner.  I wasn’t feeling very inspired, so I defaulted to Mexican.  Easy. Cheap. Tasty.

First this…

black beans, pinto beans, corn, rotel, cumin and sea salt – all mixed up!

Dun! dun! dun!  We were out of bit sized pasta, so we went with spaghetti!  Whole wheat of course.

hot and steamy

Toss! toss! toss!

Delicious.  Maybe not the most glamorous or creative meal, but it always hits the spot.

Unfortunatly I realized I am out of my favorite spice ever…so I had to forgo the ground red pepper.  boo:(

Oh, my gosh…I totally forgot!  I got a call for an interview today! I mentioned in my post yesterday that I might have an opportunity to teach ESL classes part-time.  Well, today I got a call and I’ll be meeting with them tomorrow.  I’m excited about this opportunity because it will enable me to have more time for the things I want to do and will give us a little extra moolah in the meantime. Plus, I love working with international students. So, I’m hoping it goes well.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

What is your default/go-to meal for when you aren’t feeling inspired?

Do you love mexican food as much as I do? If not what’s your favorite ethnic food?

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a good day

Yesterday ended up being quite the busy day!  I have several “projects” in the works right now that I am not quite ready to reveal, but they are taking up a lot of my time.  The cool thing is that I am loving working on them. It’s been awhile since I’ve had something going on that doesn’t really feel like work even though it is.

I’m wanting to get into doing more yoga this summer, and my gym had a power yoga class yesterday at 5:30 pm.  I still wanted to squeeze in some cardio so I did a quick 2 miles on the treadmill in the morning.  Over the course of the last month of school and then vacation, my running endurance levels have backslid a bit, so I’m trying to build my stamina back up.  Let’s be real, the hardest part of running is the phase where you are out of shape and just trying to build up endurance.  For me, running is not much fun during this phase, but it feels dang good when it’s over!  I think that’s why people sometimes have trouble getting into running – it is hard in the beginning.  But it does get easier and more fun the stronger you get. You just gotta hang in there!

I came back to a nice big bowl of overnight oats.  It’s been awhile since I’ve made them, and I have no idea why!

This bowl started off with 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup soy milk, 1/3 cup oats and 1 tbsp chia seeds.  They marinated in the fridge over night, and I added chopped fresh cherries and sliced almonds in the morning.  The cherries added just the perfect sweetness.  Aren’t cherries the most wonderful fruit?

Lucky for me, I had a hot date for lunch

Grace is one of my favorite people, and we had such a sweet time of catching up.  Her husband’s name is Jonathan also, and we love getting together and having play dates for Olive and her little Bichon, Lucy.  She always shoots it to me straight and speaks truth into my life.  Friends like that are not on every corner, and I appreciate and love her immensely!

I ordered one of my two usuals from Panera – mediterranean veggie sandwich (hold the feta!) and a cup of vegetable soup.  Also a whole grain baguette for dipping.  I haven’t been getting my baguette fill since being back from vacation, so it really hit the spot;)

Several hours and one refreshing power yoga class later, I mad a quick and easy dinner.  We had some frozen pasta from a few weeks ago, so I heated it up.  I made two sauces – one for me and one for Jon.  Actually, I sort of cheated by using this awesome new Bove wine and mushroom organic pasta sauce I bought at the store last week (shhh!). I added tons of chopped bell pepper and onion to mine and bell pepper, onion and ground turkey to his.  I loved this sauce!  I don’t know how often I’d buy it considering the steep price, but maybe for special occassions.

We were up working late last night, so I ended up having a toasted Ezekiel muffin with Earth Balance a little later.

I’m off to clean out our office and get some work done on our budget.  Fun!  We are using a program called Mint. You basically set up your budget online.  Mint links to your bank account and automatically sifts every transaction into a category.  It sends you frequent updates through your phone, so you always know if you’ve gone over in a certain area. I hate those evil little messages.  Admittedly I’ve been guilty of just deleting them when they come through, but I’m getting better!

Have you heard of or used Mint?
Do you have a system you like for keeping track of your budget?

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lots of veggies, overcoming fear and more exciting news!!

Exciting things going on here at the CSM house!  But before I get to that, let’s see some eats, shall we?

The last two days have actually been almost identical up until lunch.  If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?!

Green monsters for breakfast, of course.  For the last two days, I have actually managed to get up and get a workout in before work – shocking, I know.  I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been pleasant or easy getting up at 4:45 am, but it has been so worth it.  To make it quick, I’ve been doing Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred.  I started off with level two, and it totally kicked my butt!  If you have never tried her workouts, you should definitely give them a go – they’re the only workout I’ve ever found that really pushes me with minimal equipment (just hand weights) and minimal time.  Sometimes I really want to punch her in the face, though.  If you’ve done it, you know what I’m sayin’.

Jon and I have also added in a 3 mile run the past two days after work as well.  I miss having really great workouts so much.  Ever since starting my new job last August and my hour commute, my workouts have really suffered.  But with the end of school fast approaching, I’m starting to get antsy to get back into it, and I figure I can push myself to do anything for four weeks.  So, double workouts it is!

Anyway, back to the point.  After a tough workout, I’ve been wanting nothing but green smoothies for breakfast…so refreshing and energizing!  You guys have all seen my smoothies a million times, though, so no pics today.

Lunch for the past two days has been salads!

salad numero uno = spring mix, corn, black beans, chick peas, chia seeds, chopped carrots, avocado and balsamic vinegar

salad numero dos = spring mix, corn, black beans, avocado, chia seeds, balsamic vinegar and…….egg.  Yes, egg.

I’ve made a tentative decision to start incorporating an occasional egg into my diet.  I’m honestly not sure how it’s going to go.  In my salad it was just fine, but when I tried to eat a plain boiled on yesterday for a snack, I got a little queasy.  Honestly, I’ve just been looking for new ways to incorporate protein into my diet.  I don’t believe I need a lot of protein, but I do try to have a protein source at most of my mini meals throughout the day.  Since switching to a mostly vegan diet, my complete protein sources for on-the-go meals and snacks (I pack most of my food everyday) have been based on nuts, nut butter and beans.  I just have been wishing for another option, and I feel like organic, free range eggs are a decent choice. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start eating many animal products anytime soon, but as long as the chickens are raised appropriately, I don’t have an ethical problem with eating eggs.

So, anyway, you may see the occasional egg on here in the future.  Just FYI:)  Even though it was a bit challenging to down the boiled egg on Tuesday, the healthy fat and protein sure held me over for a looong time. shrug.  But if they don’t become a bit more appetizing soon, I’ll def. be nixing them.

Onto dinner from last night.  As you will probably notice, I have been craving veggies.  So, I roasted some parsnips, brussels, sweet potatoes and tempeh.  With a side of natural ketchup for dipping:)

And tonight – same story.  Except I switched it up by having roasted kale chips, roasted squash and a slice of Ezekiel toast with Sabra spinach and artichoke hummus.  I sprinkled nutritional yeast, ground red pepper and garlic powder over the veggies.  Perfect.  It totally hit the spot.

I’m currently finishing off half a soy yogurt with a sprinkle of granola and frozen cherries for dessert!

Okay, now onto the exciting news.  I have officially ordered my materials through ACE to become a certified personal trainer!

I’m am stoked.  I’ve been considering it for months now, but fear has been holding me back.  Well, I’m not going to let fear rule my life anymore, so I’m going for it.  I felt so empowered last night as I clicked “submit order.”  I was watching a video of Kris Carr the other day.  She was being interviewed by Oprah, and she said “many people wait around for someone to give them permission to live.  Well, no one is going to give you that, you just have to go for it.”  I’ve been struggling with overcoming fear all my life, and especially lately I’ve been praying that God would give me the strength to overcome fear and not let it hold me back from doing what I’m passionate about.  I’ve decided I’m going to stop waiting around for that “permission” and just go after what I want.

So, I’ll definitely be spending a lot of time studying in the coming months, but I’m so excited about all that I’m going to learn and I’m looking forward to sharing some of it through CSM as well.

Do you find that fear sometimes holds you back from taking risks or trying something new?
If you’re vegan, what kinds of things do you eat for a quick protein fix?

Well, I’m off to bed, so I can meet back up with Jillian bright and early!  Hope you all are having a great week so far!

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earth day fun

I slowly come to consiousness as a faint glint of light peeks through my bedroom window.  I think to myself that something just doesn’t seem right.  Rubbing my eyes, I sit up and look over at the clock.  The moment of panic hits me like a ton of bricks…it’s 6:21am.  I was supposed to leave for work 21 minutes ago.  Whoopsie!

Needless to say my morning was a little crazy!  I got ready in record time (15 minutes) and only ended being about 15 minutes late for work.  On the way, I nervously gulped down my newest version of a green smoothie.

1 cup almond milk
1 scoop Amazing Grass
15 frozen cherries
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 big handfuls of spinach
1 tbsp Artisana cocoa bliss coconut butter – the star of the show!

Yesterday Jon even crumbled up a tiny bit of coconut butter and sprinkled it on top.  As I sipped away, I would get an occasional chunk through my straw.  They don’t call it cocoa bliss for nothing!

Lunch today was leftover chili, Ryvita crackers and a pear.

On my way home from work I snacked on this Clif bar, while listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast.  I had heard about her podcasts for awhile, but had yet to listen to one.  It was ironically appropriate for the things that are going on in my life right now.  She talked about how being empowered means you have to have a dream, then overcome your fears to make that dream your reality.  Usually the fear is rooted in being afraid of failure.  Also in order to reach you dreams, you must first believe that you can actually do it.  Sounds cliche, but it’s so true.

After I got home from work, I decided to “kill two birds with one stone” by getting in a mowing workout.  Our yard was in serious need of a trim, and I knew that Jon had a million things on his to do list for this evening, so it was me versus the yard.  I just barely won:)  I have a feeling I’m going to be quite sore tomorrow, and to be honest I think I pulled something in my left leg.  Hopefully it’s all in my imagination and will be back to normal by the morning.  We’ll see. While cleaning up our front porch, we decided it was high time we take care of this:

A few weeks ago we noticed that a bird had made its nest in the wreath on our front door.  It was quite dangerous, really, because there were many times that I or Jon almost got decapitated by the mama as we tried to go in or out of our front door.  Unfortunately, she must have given up on this little one, because we have not seen her in days.  So, sadly, we decided that because it was past due time to switch from our Christmas wreath to our Spring wreath, we had to do away with the little nest as well.  I know this seems tragic, especially considering it’s Earth Day and all, but the mother had abandoned it anyway, so it really had no chance:(

After finishing up with the yard, we headed out to get a quick bite to eat, run an errand and race back home to get some cleaning done.  As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve got company coming for the next few days, so the house needed some major work.  First, we had a second round of this

In the interest of the blog, I have to apologize for getting the same exact sandwich I got last Saturday.  I tried to convince myself to switch it up, but I just couldn’t do it.  It was too good!  However, surprise! this time it came with cheese on it, which I happily removed.  The other slight tweak from last Saturday’s meal:

I do realize this is not the healthiest choice, but by gosh, I just had to do it tonight!  When we went to this restaurant on Saturday, I lusted after this guy, so I decided I’d just cure my lusting by indulging a little bit tonight.  It was ice cold and  worth every sip!

We’ve spent the rest of the evening cleaning like mad.  Bring on the company!

I better get to bed if I want to avoid another incident like this morning.  Can you believe it’s already Friday again??  I’m so glad!

Have a great night, and Happy Earth Day!

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