Friday, July 26, 2013

The Funk

Here is a little Friday stream of consciousness for you... Happy weekend! :)

It is funny. All that time spent in graduate school has given me a new perspective post-graduation. While I am SUPER grateful to be done with homework, late nights reading articles or textbooks, or group projects, I am finding that this time after graduating has been fun and relaxing, but different. While life and work and normal responsibilities still are moving at a fast pace, I am finding that all the things I thought about doing post-graduation, I am lacking the routine or discipline to actually do them. I had projects GALORE I wanted to do once being done with school. All those nights I was writing or meeting virtually with group members on projects, I had a list of "man, I wish I was doing [insert some form of fun that doesn't involve schoolwork here]". I even wished I had time to clean your whole house clean. Now that I have that time, I am having a difficult time making a routine. Scheduling my days to accomplish something outside of normal work hours. Once I get home, I just want to watch tv. I have never been a big tv watcher, but now, that's much of what I find myself doing. My books I have from the library even remain unread. What is going on?!  I need to get myself back on track and find a good rhythm. When you are forced to do hours of schoolwork, you just do it. It is hard, not fun, but it forces productivity. I can't handle not doing something productive. Just sitting is so foreign to me it makes me feel almost guilty for doing it. I guess, like in all things, I need to find a balance. I need to balance sitting watching tv time with doing projects or other household activities. I mean, I have been keeping up with routine cleaning, etc better than when I was in school, but the extra projects seem to be just waiting to be addressed and I keep putting it off. I am not a procrastinator, for the most part. Why am I suddenly doing this? I need to get out of this funk. This "wanting to be lazy" funk. I need to get on a know I love a good list:) looks like it is to the drawing board on "being productive post-school".

I'll let you know how this all turns out... :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee: Which are you?

I saw this on facebook and I couldn't pass it up and not share. This story is not my own nor is the picture. I don't know where original credit it due, but it is fabulous. A great read.



A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose. 

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The granddaughter then asked, "What does it mean, Grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity -- boiling water -- but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Watermelon Salsa

Image from here.

Ok, don't be scared. My aunt introduced this recipe to me.  This salsa is incredible. It is sweet but has a little kick to it too. This is great for keeping it healthy and it isn't as acidic as tomatoes. Light and refreshing, you will LOVE IT. 

I have made this recipe many times now, and most people are stunned after trying it to find out that the "red" they see aren't tomatoes! This is a sure crowd-pleaser! 

I hope you find this is a fun alternative to regular salsa and enjoy changing things up for your summer cook outs!

Watermelon Salsa

2.-3 cups diced seedless watermelon
3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion (I used red)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons brown sugar 
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix and serve chilled with tortilla chips!



Monday, June 17, 2013

The Break Up Update

So a few weeks ago, I declared that I was going to make some changes. Some healthy changes. Eat healthier, stop drinking soda, exercise more. Here's an update on breaking up with old habits and the new habits I am trying to start.

Eating. My eating has gone up and down. I use the calorie counter and it helps, but sometimes it is hard to remember to enter everything or find what I am looking for in the searches. But, I am finding that even if it is a "close enough" search to what I have been eating, it makes me much more aware of how much and what I am consuming.

Moving into our house has made eating healthy much more difficult. When your trips to the grocery store become few and far between, it makes keeping fresh ingredients at home difficult. I am glad we are getting settled in and will be able to unpack all our cooking stuff so I can start making meals at home. Pizza and hot dogs for several days in a row are not exactly part of my eating-healthy plan. But, I have been able to make a couple quick trips to the store to get some fruit and salad stuff so I am making it happen the best I can in the interim.

One of my biggest things I am trying to work on is not to give up on this goal. It is discouraging when you can't eat healthy because of time constraints or because you don't want to overbuy right before/during/after a move while you are getting settled. It is so much easier to eat out or get something quick, like pizza. So, I am trying to keep a mindset of not getting frustrated. It is ok and it is only for a time. I am trying to monitor my portions, but if my current meal isn't ideal, don't worry, and don't fall off the bandwagon. You got this. I will try again the next time. I find that if I can't do something fully and completely, I tend to push it to the wayside. So I am working on that.

Soda Drinking. It is funny because I used to not be a big soda drinker at all. Times change, but I am doing pretty well with it. I have had some soda, especially with moving, etc., but kinda like with my eating, I am not going to fret over a soda I may have. Because I haven't been eating as healthy and the stress of moving and still going to work every day, my stomach has been giving me issues. Sometimes, you just need to drink a soda. Sugar and carbonation can help sometimes. So, what I decided was I should try and not have soda as much as possible, but if I am really craving one or am feeling not-to-great, try to just have 1 soda for the week. This goes back to the don't-fret-and-don't-fall-off-the-bandwagon mantra. Just have to keep plugging along and do the best you can.

Exercising. Packing boxes. Moving boxes. Unpacking boxes. This totally classifies as a workout. So the gym can wait. :)

So there's the low-down and update of my big declarations. I haven't found the scale yet in unpacking, so I guess that's probably a good thing for now.


Here is to breaking up with old habits and keeping up with your new goals and sticking with them...but not fretting if you slip up now and then!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

A House, A Home

So the Third.Big.Thing.

Life has been madness lately. But a good madness. The crazy that makes you sleep so hard each night and then make up dreams with sirens and alarms in the morning because you are still so tired that you incorporated your alarm sound into your dreams. It has been nuts, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

KGK and I just moved into our first house! We could not be more excited. Apartment living definitely has its perks, and we were happy to be in an apartment until the right house came along, and it did! We are thrilled.

So now, the packing, unpacking crazy cycle is in full swing. We have everything moved in and we are now trying to find everything. We went a few days already with just the basics. Food was scarce. We have been living off of hot dogs and left over pizza because we are still digging through our mounds of stuff and need to find our pots, pans, plates, etc. It is amazing how much stuff you can acquire in so much time and how much you actually use your stuff. So now we get to figure out where everything is going and where everything is hiding.

A few things I am especially excited about now that we are in a house:

*Having a garden.*
*Salvaging some of our older furniture, nicknacks, and other decor that have been in boxes and try giving them fresh paint, and giving 'em new life.*
*Making my own curtains*
*Finding a spot for everything and keep it clean and neat *

So these are just a few of my hopes for this new house of ours. I look forward to making this house of ours a home we can be in for a long, long time.

Stay tuned!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Right to Silence

Dear Current & Future Self,

So today is a slightly different letter to myself. One that doesn’t fit much of the tone of other posts here. Sometimes I have a hard time writing on topics that may cause waves or hurt others feelings. While I may be a strong-willed (ok, opinionated at times), my intentions are not to hurt others feelings or try and change another person’s mind. Very few people have ever heard me say who I vote for, my views of gay marriage, my views on parenting (especially because I don’t have kids to even know anything about this), or what I even believe in the religious sense. Not because I don’t have strong beliefs and not because I won’t tell you if you ask. The reason I don’t blurt these things out or post proficiently on social media outlets my views on these very sensitive topics is not because I don’t have an opinion. It isn’t because I do not want to talk about it or I don’t have good reasons backing up my beliefs. The reason I don’t blurt these things out is not because I am afraid to speak my mind nor am I downplaying to right to free speech. I wholeheartedly believe in these things. However, some people blurt these things out without thinking of other people. They don’t consider the struggles others are going through and your intentions are not always shown as clearly in a facebook post or a tweet. 

Some people may not like this. That’s fine. You can post your thoughts and there is nothing wrong with that. But just know, that if you can be as bold to post those kinds of controversial thoughts, you need to be prepared for others to respectively decline to delve into a battle with you over that idea or issue. Just because I do not humor you into agreeing or disagreeing with you publically doesn’t mean I don’t have a strong opinion. Sometimes it just isn’t worth the raising of blood pressure over arguing. And many times, there can be disrespect thrown out when it wasn’t intended to be that in the first place. So if you decide to share those thoughts, that is awesome. But you need to respect those that don’t want to throw out those same thoughts too. Some people don’t want to create enemies over a simple disagreement. So when you post something bold on facebook, twitter, instagram, or whatever, or decide to ask very personal questions to someone, be prepared if that person respectfully declines to comment. It may have nothing to do with you or everything to do with you. Just know that if you get to be bold and ask, I get to be bold and be silent. That is my right too.

It is funny. This is something that I have thought of strongly over the years. My right to be silent. I am a talker and I am very open person. However, when it comes to things that could hurt others feelings or if I am being insensitive to the struggles others may be going through and my opinion would only hurt them more in their struggles, sometimes it is better to be there for someone then tell them what you think. We all fall prey to this "quick-to-respond-reaction". I know I do, but just as it is my right to freely speak, it is also my right to freely remain silent. All growing up, my parents said to think before I speak. When you are a fast talker, that is hard to do. But it is something I am constantly striving to do. There would probably be a lot less hurt feelings and oppression if people would actually think how their message will be received than just how is sounds coming out of their mouths.

Do I always follow through with this? This right to remain silent. Most definitely NOT. I am quick to fill silence and quick to say something that probably isn't the right thing to say. However, it is something that I am trying to train myself to do more. I think many people really do try to be careful. I don't think that most people are out there to hurt others. Not at all. I think we sometimes forget how the other person may receive our comment and that is something I want to continually work on. My right to silence is something that needs to be practiced. It is not something that comes naturally to me, but I have thought about this a lot over the past few years. Something that I think others can benefit from too. Sometimes, it just isn't worth the argument for hurt feelings.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Habits & Rabbits

Ok, so this post really has nothing to do with Rabbits. I just liked how it sounded. I am not a poet, but if I get a chance to rhyme a word or two, I feel like telling my high school self that it will turn out ok that you can’t master writing a haiku or other poetry types. (Confession: yes, I have been laughed at, by a teacher, with how poor my poem-writing-skills were, in front of the whole class). But that is neither here nor there…I’m beyond my need to write poetry. Doesn’t really suite me anyway, just not my thing. 

But ANYWAYS, back on track. Reeling it in.

Habits. I googled “define: habits” and this is what pops up:

Pretty straight forward and applicable. Minus the taking of drugs part. Just say no.

Anywho, I have gotten into a bad “regular tendency or practice” of not eating as healthy as I should, and not exercising regularly. I blame two things: I started dating KGK and I became happy, so why work out?; and I started grad school.

So now, I am more than 2 years beyond the start of KGK and I starting our fun-filled journey together and my grad work is behind me. I have gotten into quite the slump and extra humps (graphic, I know, how do you think I feel?!). So it is time to get myself back into better shape. I will never be within my ideal weight/BMI range for my height. Never have been. And even when I played sports with morning and evening practices and constantly on the go when I was younger, I was NEVER within those ranges. I was always like 20 pounds more than those. Not sure how they come up with that stuff, but I had two things going against me: big hips (even in middle school when those suckers started spreading), and big boobs (even at my lowest, these suckers are just big).

So now that I have gotten extremely personal and said things on the web that my mother would probably freak out over (sorry mom, but just being honest about the girls), I have decided to get myself into a workout routine and making healthier eating choices.

Now first, let me explain. I am not an expert. I will mess up. I love beer and wings, so those will still be in my food consumption every so often. However, I am making small choices to ensure I am feeding my body what it needs MOST of the time, and having those “fun” things only some of the time. My some and MOST have been flip flopped for the past couple years. So it is time to flip flop them back again. Get myself back on track and be a better and healthier me.

Ok, next. Working out. UGH. Say it with me…UGH. Well, time to get that kicked into high gear too. I am not planning to start going to the gym 5+ days a week. I will not spend more than an hour or so there at a time. Because let’s face it, if I place too big of a goal, I have more room to miss it and fail. So, I am starting small. I plan to go to the gym at least 3 times a week. If it doesn’t happen, I will try to do it the next week. Life happens. You can’t always be a machine and stay on schedule or keep to regimens as we hope we can. So I am allowing myself to be flexible, but not be lazy. I am going to force myself out of bed in the morning to go to the gym. I will be sure to go to classes or get a workout in even after long days at work. Enough forcing and it will be an easier push eventually. I will get in the habit of it again. I used to frequent the gym 4 times a week before grad/KGK happiness entered my life. Now, with more going on, I expect 3 times a week for myself. I want to be healthier and fitter so that I can be active for more years of my life. I don’t want to have a family and not be able to go outside and kick around a soccer ball or not go for hikes. I want my kids to see their momma as active and going on adventures. They need to see me making the time to take care of myself so that they will do those same things too. 

So now starts the hard part. Getting into the habit. Habit making is hard, habit breaking is easy and so much more fun. But once something is a everyday practice, it becomes easier. Making my coffee every morning is a habit. I enjoy it. Being healthy can be the same too. I just have to get over the initial work to get it brewing.

Received this gem from a friend today.

So my goals are to get some poundage off and be healthier. I will need all the help I can get, so any encouragement or words of advice/wisdom are greatly appreciatedJ