Going out like a lion!

Well, March is finally over. With that goes my last Ten Things of Thankful for the month.

They say March goes in like a lion & out like a lamb. I’m thinking the exact opposite reality and in weather. We had a very mild month, but in the last week, we got the cold weather we waited for all winter, along with some rather blustery days. It really made me wish I had a kite.

I personally started out March in a bit of a funk from the previous month. My trip to New York was just what I needed to recharge my batteries. I had a week of eustress, followed by an equally as busy week.

Travel Town Museum

Travel Town Museum

1) We went to Travel Town Museum last Sunday. I didn’t realize how much I liked trains until I got there. I’m a huge history nerd and just seeing all those old trains made my eyes light up. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of parents may have enjoyed the museum more than the kids. For instance, the parents were the ones making all the train noises on our short train ride around the museum.

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Sprinkles Cupcakes

2) We stopped by Sprinkles for some cupcakes on the way home. We went to their flagship store in Beverly Hills. I always feel a little fancy when I go over there, even if it’s only to pick up some tasty desserts.

3) Physical therapy continued this week. I haven’t been doing it too long at all and my hip already feels better. I’m definitely going to continue doing all these exercises once I’m completely cleared. They’re very helpful as well as great exercises & stretches that I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise.

4) When I started physical therapy, I was advised to refrain from jumping when I skate. It reminded me of an episode of Winnie the Pooh when Tigger was told not to bounce. It just wasn’t right. You could imagine how thrilled I was when my therapist told me yesterday that I can start doing some of the more basic jumps.

5) I have physical therapy twice a week. Because of that, my husband gets home shortly before 5 so he can take over watching Andrew. It’s nice to “get out of jail” early sometimes.

6) I helped out with a yard sale fundraiser. It felt good to give back and to purge my closet of things that we no longer need.

7) My little man has been more independent lately. I feel great because I do feel guilty when I need to get something done & he wants to play. I know one day he won’t want to play with me, so I take advantage as much as I can. With that being said, it’s nice when I have to take on a task & he knows how to entertain himself. It’s still an uphill battle but we’re definitely getting somewhere.

8) So glad for an afternoon of pampering that included a facial and haircut. If I was rich, I’d totally pay for someone to style my hair everyday.

9) I visited with a friend who just had a baby. I can’t believe Andrew was that tiny. He made the most sour face when I held the baby, but did a little happy dance when I handed the baby back to her mama. I wish I had a camera.

10) I feel that I ended March with a bang. I look forward to see what April will bring!

What are you thankful for this week?

Ten Things of Thankful

 

 

Party Like It’s 1981

For Tuesday Ten this week, I needed to find ten interesting things that happened in the year I was born.

1) Bette Davis Eyes was the #1 song the day I was born. I’ve always loved this song & am known to sing along with it in the car.

2) Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed as the female justice on the Supreme Court. Pretty neat.

3) MTV launched. Boys and girls, they actually played music videos back then.

4) Chariots of Fire won Best Picture. No, I’ve never seen it but now the theme song is in my head.

5) The first human open fetal surgery is performed.

6) NASA begins the space shuttle program with the launch of Columbia.

7)  Smurfs made its debut…and it was smurferiffic.

8) Donkey Kong was released, marking the debut of my favorite video game character…Mario!

9) IBM releases its first PC. Just writing that brought me back to first grade computer class. I am SO glad that by the time our family got our own computer, Windows had come out. No C: anything! Woo hoo!

10) I just thought this one was funny. The Laserdisc format is introduced in Japan. It was previously known as “disco vision” and now visions of mirror balls are in my head.

Those are some cool things that happened the year I was born. How about you? Join us at Tuesday Ten!

The Golden Spoons

A Damsel in Eustress

Wow, I can’t believe it’s Saturday already. It was a week filled with eustress, which is a beautiful thing since I get bored so easily.

I made one of the most common mama mistakes & carried my son on my left hip for extended amounts of time. By the time my yoga teacher in my mommy & me yoga class advised us all to carry the babies on our chest to avoid messing up our bodies’ alignment, it was too late. I finally got evaluated by my doctor & started my first round of physical therapy this week. I’ve had physical therapy in the past & I look forward to my appointments. Even my therapist said I was in this minority.

The one drawback to physical therapy is cutting back on some of my group exercises at the gym. It will take me some time before I get a normal fitness routine in again, but I’m taking this time, albeit a bit reluctantly to slow down a bit.

IMG_3760

We took Andrew to a local park where they have free rides on amusement park style steam engine trains every so often. It was pretty neat. Not quite sure andrew knew what was going on, but it was a nice family outing.

My Facebook break is still going well. I was feeling inadequate plenty of times when I was online, always comparing myself to others. I’m glad I don’t have to experience that anymore.

I know some of you will laugh, but I rediscovered video games. Super Mario is as gamer as I get, but I find playing some of these old school Game Cube & Wii Mario games to be a nice distraction once in a while.

After many failures, I finally got the slow cooker to work for me. Turns out, my old one, the 6qt  was too big & was causing things to dry out. This smaller one does a good job. It’s wonderful for a busy mama.

I attended several play dates this week. It was great to try out new parks & catch up with friends. I think the best play date was one hosted by MOMS club called cook’s corner. It was a St Patrick’s Day theme and of course everyone brought something green. I made these cucumber roll ups & got some compliments. I love to cook and I feel accomplished every time I can pull something off which has been harder since I have to watch a toddler while I cook.

We took our final mommy & me parenting class. A local mommy & me music company gave us a demo which Andrew loved. He was bouncing during every song & clapped & said “Yay” which was absolutely adorable. We’ll enroll in a music class since he loves it so much. It was a little bittersweet leaving my parenting class since I had the same teacher for 2 years but I felt that it was time. It was a great experience but I found that I didn’t fit in with the other moms & it was making me self conscious. Plus, the moms who were kind to me all dropped as well. I want to be in a positive environment & unfortunately, it wasn’t at the parenting class anymore.

We’re headed to a train museum tomorrow. I look forward to more family time. It’s a perk of slowing down the gym routine.

What are you thankful for? Join us at Ten Things of thankful.

Ten Things of Thankful

School Regrets

 

I graduated college 9 years ago, but I wish I could go back & pick another major. I picked communication. While I love it, it’s hard to get a job in this field & being in California, let’s face it, the market is over saturated. I went to college in Florida and interned for Clear Channel Radio. Honestly, it was the only time in my life that I felt I actually enjoyed my job. Unfortunately, DJs are not in high demand as technology improves. A lot of the DJs prerecord their shows & even record shows for other cities too. Also, a lot of them work over 40 hours a week. Not to mention,the job isn’t stable. If your ratings drop, you’re out.

If I could do it all over again, I’d major in physical therapy. I’ve always been interested in biology and figuring out how things work. Although I’ve always been great in biology, I always struggled with chemistry and barely passed physics. Both of those sciences are also needed for that major unfortunately.

I’m glad that my husband is able to support my son & I but often times I think I should’ve applied myself more in school.After graduating, I worked as a restaurant manager of a major hotel chain for 4 years. I tried to get into the Human Resources side of things since I didn’t want to be working 50 hours a week anymore, but no dice there. Then I worked in a cubicle job which I absolutely hated. I wish I was a lot stronger in math & science because I feel that would’ve opened more doors for me. Not to sound morbid, but if anything happened to my husband, I would be totally screwed.

This week’s post is part of Finish the Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “I finished school but….” Let us know how you would finish that sentence.

 

 

 

What’s in my purse?

It's my purse!

It’s my purse!

Well, to be honest, lately my purse has been my diaper bag. Out of all the mommy purchases, this was the one I dreaded. I hated the ones they sold at Babies r Us. They always looked frumpy & screamed diaper bag. Then I was introduced to the Petunia Pickle Bottom line.

Inside my Petunia Pickle Bottom bag

Inside my Petunia Pickle Bottom bag

 

1) The inside of the bag can be a black hole, so I organize it with smaller bags.

2) The bag furthest to the left is where I keep 2 of my son’s disposable diapers, a disposable changing pad, and wipes.

3) Next to that bag is where I keep my son’s bib, a wash cloth, and disposable placemats.

4) Next to that bag is where I keep his snacks. I like this one because it’s insulated and it’s washable too.

5) I keep his sunscreen and first aid in the small blue bag. Like the larger green bag, it’s also washable, and I like how if there’s a mess, it’s contained in the bag.

6) I keep his water bottle in the side pocket. Depending on where we go, I keep one in the other side pocket for myself.

7) I keep my wallet & cell phone in the back pocket since I carry it backpack style & feel that they’re safer there.

8) I keep my makeup kit in the front pocket.

9) I also keep a spare change of clothes for my son in the front pocket.

10) Lastly, I keep a small hairbrush in the front pocket too.

So that’s the contents of my “purse” these days. I think it’s pretty snazzy looking for a diaper bag ;)

What’s in your purse? Let us know at Tuesday Ten!

 

30 Day Smoothie Challenge Recap

I finally finished the 30 day smoothie challenge! Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. I love smoothies anyway & I didn’t mind making one each day at all. I didn’t even have one of those fancy blenders. I just used my Cuisinart that was a wedding gift & it worked just fine.

I ate normally and drank the smoothies as a supplement. I did have a smoothie by itself once for breakfast & worked out afterwards. It wasn’t a pretty sight & I didn’t make that mistake again. I found myself very lightheaded at the gym to the point that I had to leave the class early.

In the beginning of the challenge, I did find myself feeling a bit groggy after drinking some of the smoothies. It was either the ingredients, or my body was detoxing. At any rate, I did feel better after day 5 and it continued. After the initial detox period, I did feel like I had more energy. I was never a fan of salads, so drinking green smoothies were a great way to get my daily dose of vegetables.

Simple Green Smoothies has a 30 day smoothie challenge 4 times a year with the next one coming up in April. I do plan to join since it’s become a way of life for me. I flew solo this time, but it’d be nice to have other people do this with me, even if they live in the computer.

I invite you to check out their website & Facebook page to learn more.

Disclaimer: No one paid me to write this post.

A New York State of Mind

 

I’ve been absent from 10 Things of Thankful. I’m glad to say this time was for a good reason. My husband goes on business trips frequently. I’ve always told him if he ever has to travel to New York City, I’m coming along.

Well, my lucky day finally arrived. I jumped for joy the minute Mat told me the good news!

Subways + strollers = no fun

Subways + strollers = no fun

It wouldn’t be a long trip, but it’d be a nice break from California and let’s face it, dealing with a stroller on the subway is no fun anyway.

Visiting New York was much needed for me. I was stuck in a rut last month and I was starting to think there was no way out. It’s amazing what change in scenery will do. I was glad my son got to spend some one on one time with his grand aunt & great grandma. He was definitely spoiled by both of them. We all enjoyed some home cooked meals thanks to my auntie.

Central Park Zoo

My aunt & I took Andrew to Central Park and I saw snow for the first time in years! I was so excited. I felt like a little kid again. This was Andrew’s first time seeing snow, and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Andrew loved looking at all the animals and leading his grand aunt all over the park. Next up was FAO Schwarz. Andrew of course loved playing with all the toys. Thankfully, he hasn’t been exposed to candy yet because there was a huge candy section that he’d probably go bonkers over in a few years. It was a fun filled day & I’m glad my aunt was there to help because I don’t know how I’d manage by myself. My hat goes off to all NYC locals!

My most favorite moment of the whole trip would have to be Andrew “playing” piano alongside his great grandma. It was such a joy to watch. Even sweeter was Andrew clapping & saying “yay!” each time his great grandma finished playing a song.

I returned to California feeling very refreshed. I had given up Facebook for Lent. It was pretty easy to do since I was busy in NY. The only exception to my Facebook fast is my daily blog link up. Other than that, I’m offline. Facebook was causing me a lot of grief. I had successfully given it up last fall but picked it up again when my dad came to visit. I hope I can stay off it longer this time. It’s amazing how much I get done without that time sucker in the way. 

I had a lot to be thankful for this week. How about you? Let us know at Ten Things of Thankful.

 

photos by: derekskey & ktywg

I love the 90s

I’m in my *cough* 30s, so I didn’t have many decades to choose from. It was a close one, but the 90s win. It’s the decade that brought us slap bracelets, baby doll dresses, and chokers. What’s not to love? I recall wearing a tube of Lip Smackers lip gloss around my neck all through 7th grade. What happened to that line anyway? Everything was so bright and sunny during those first few years of the 90s. I remember when sunflowers were on everything.

Part of my 9th grade "uniform"

Part of my 9th grade “uniform”

After all the cutesy stuff came grunge. My 9th grade “uniform” consisted of Doc Marten boots, baggy jeans, a t-shirt, and of course, a flannel. Pretty easy to put together, especially since I had to wake up at that awful hour of 5:30 each morning. I’d listen to the Gin Blossoms, Collective Soul, The Smashing Pumpkins, Alanis Morrissette, and of course, Nirvana. Yes folks, a 9th grader with plenty of angst to go around. *snicker*

My teenage angst was contained in notebooks like these.

My teenage angst was contained in notebooks like these.

Speaking of angst, I used to write “poetry” in high school. I have no idea what I was thinking because reading it now makes me cringe. I’m glad I had an outlet to express myself but man oh man was I a weird kid.

cap on books

I graduated high school in 1999 which I always thought was pretty cool. I still remember being so optimistic about the future. All in all, it was a great decade for me. The fashion was fun and ever changing. The music fluctuated from happy, to angry, and back to happy again with the Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys. I grew a lot but I still had a long way to go & I think I still do now. It’s really hard to believe that the 90s were 20 years ago. I think I’m still in denial these days. It’s nice to remember being a kid when the only worries were remembering to program the VCR to record TGIF on ABC and SNICK on Nickelodeon.

What was your favorite decade? Let us know at Finish the Sentence Fridays. Just click on the link in the side bar.

 

Traveling with a 20 month old

Aeroplane

We just returned from our short trip to NY to visit my extended family. My little one has flown 4 times now and this time was definitely easier. One of the best decisions was opting for a simple umbrella stroller which made wheeling the little one all over the airport a breeze. I researched some activities and apps to distract the little guy on the 5 hour flight. Turns out that food, some stacking cups, plastic cups, board books,  and apps by Fisher Price did the trick. I’m glad I didn’t pay for any of my apps since Andrew favored only a few.

The most challenging part of the flight were the take off & landing, when he needed to be strapped in the seat. He didn’t scream or cry, but whined a lot which to me was like nails on a chalkboard. Some food during the climb did the trick. As for landing, which is a longer process, my husband and I took turns singing every childhood song we knew (except wheels on the bus, ugh) and Andrew clapped & said “yay” after every song, which was cute. I hope the other passengers didn’t mind our singing voices.

My hat goes off to all parents in NYC that take strollers on the subways. I have no idea how they do it. We had the umbrella stroller, which definitely helped, but it was a pain to take all his blankets off & then take him out & collapse the stroller each time. We did enjoy ourselves despite all that hassle. Andrew loved walking around Central Park. The kid wouldn’t stop babbling, kinda like mama. I hope that when we return to NY sometime this summer, the stroller won’t be too much of an issue since there won’t be a ridiculous number of blankets on him & hopefully he’ll be a better walker too.

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Traveling with a toddler is no easy task. I’m just glad my husband and I learned from our previous trips & made this journey a lot easier. I’m glad Andrew got to see his New York family in the winter and experience snow for the first time. We only got two “Oh no! A baby” glares, so that’s not bad at all.

Do you have any tips on traveling with a toddler?

 

photo by: Vox Efx

My Favorite Meals

After struggling with a mean case of mommy brain, I’m back on the Tuesday Ten wagon. Being a part time food blogger, this post is right up my alley. Here’s a linkup to ten of my favorite recipes.

I’ve grown to love my slow cooker. It’s a great feeling knowing that dinner is cooking away while I keep up with my high energy toddler. Here’s some of my favorites.

Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs

Quick and easy. Only a few hours in the crock pot. I usually make this when my son goes down for his nap & it’s ready by dinner.

Beef Burgundy

This has been my husband’s go to slow cooker meal since we got married. 7 years later & it’s still a hit.

Black Bean Taco Soup

I don’t think I need to say more about this. I love Mexican food, so I’ll take a crock pot version anytime.

I love making soups because it’s almost as fast as cooking with a slow cooker. Just throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot & get a delicious meal an hour later. I’m all for that.

Fast Chicken Chili

One mama made this at my mommy & me class. It was so good, I had to have the recipe.

Winter Minestrone

This has always been my favorite soup. I’m glad I have a recipe.

Italian Wedding Soup

Another one of my favorites.

Here’s a few more of my favorites. They may not all be quick, but they’re easy. I’ve never been one for complicated recipes.

Keema Curry

There was a time when I thought Indian curry was the only type out there. I was never a fan of the spicy curries & I thought that’s all there was. I finally tried a Japanese curry & I like how mild it is. Dare I say sweet? This dish is very comforting.

Greek Turkey Burgers

This has been my go-to meal ever since I got married.

Chicken Adobo

I grew up on this. I never get tired of it.

Orecchiette with Chicken Meatballs

I like this twist on spaghetti & meatballs that only miss Giada could do.

Link up with us at Tuesday Ten and share your favorite recipes. Looking forward to reading your list and trying new things!

The Golden Spoons

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