Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars

My husband is notorious for getting too busy to eat. He'll work for hours, realize he's getting shaky and hasn't eaten, so he'll grab a quick protein bar rather than a real meal. 

This drives me nuts of course as his worrisome wife. Not only do I firmly believe in a well balanced meal, I also believe in saving money. And those protein bars don't come cheap! 

So, after years of nagging him I decided to finally give in to this little quirk of his and make some homemade protein bars. I know it's still not a well balanced meal, but it's better than those chemical laden pieces of crap he buys! Right?!

What You Will Need:
1 3/4 Cup Honey
2 Cups Extra Chunky Peanut Butter
3 Cups Granola or Oats
1 1/4 Cup Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
Step One: Combine honey and peanut butter in a bowl. Be sure to think ahead and not use a metal mixing bowl like I did. If you do, scrape everything into a microwave safe bowl like I had to... Microwave for 90 Seconds.

Step Two: Add granola and protein Powder. Mix well... Mixture will be very thick and will hurt your arm to stir after awhile. Take a break to taste test it if you need to. Or 2. Or 3...

Step Three: Press into a 9x13 pan. Refrigerate to cool.

Step Four: Once cool, cut into bars and store in airtight tupperware.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Loving Where I Live

 I absolutely love living out in Buckley.

 I have not once regretted moving to "the country."

I mean, look who my new neeeiiiighbors are. They just moved in May 31st. 


I love that since I moved here I am actually proud when I have beautiful things in my yard.



I love that my baby has a huge yard to play in and he is growing old in a place that makes him happy.
(Although he doesn't look it... he's camera shy)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Life After Miscarriage: Avoidance

Any lady out there who has experienced a miscarriage will know exactly what I mean when I say this: After a miscarriage, baby and pregnancy related stuff seems to everywhere

I can't seem avoid it. 

I feel like I'm being haunted and it follows me everywhere.
I turn on Friends looking for some comic relief. It's an episode where Rachel is pregnant. Or one where Phoebe is pregnant. Or one where Monica is dealing with her fertility struggles.

I turn on a childhood favorite, Full House. That show ought to be some good clean fun, right? Nope. I happen to tune into an episode where Becky is pregnant with the twins. 

I log into Facebook (knowing this could happen) and somebody posts a picture of their baby bump. Or somebody announces their pregnancy. Of course I'm happy for these women but I also struggle with wanting to throw my computer across the room.

Head over to Pinterest for some DIY ideas and maybe a sinful recipe or two. What shows up in my home feed? Nursery ideas, maternity photo ideas, baby articles and on and on.

Decided to watch a movie one afternoon waiting for my husband to get home. Awwww... Marley & Me, a movie about a family and their dog. I can watch this! This movie came out in 2009... I randomly decide to watch it 4 years later not knowing there's a scene where Jenifer Aniston's character finds out she has had a missed miscarriage. This scene is almost exactly the way I found out. (Except my husband wasn't there with me). Cue sobbing for the next hour.  Of course.

Same thing happened the other night when I tried to watch What to Expect When You're Expecting. I thought it was going to be a fun comedy about women going through their first pregnancy together. But of course, there's a miscarriage scene. (I know, I know. I shouldn't be watching any movies like this right now, but I thought it was a straight up comedy!)


And all this is just from the comfort of my own home...

Go out into the real world. Um... Now I'm faced with real life preggos everywhere, right in front of me.

I started my new job recently. One of my first days they had me shadow an employee at the call center so I could see what they do. Who do I happen to get put with? The woman my age who's expecting her first child. She was wonderful and super cool, but it was awful to listen to her talk about her baby and see her pregnant belly. She was the ONLY pregnant woman working at our call center, and of course, I was put with her!

My second week I get put at a branch to shadow a coworker. Who is her manager? Another adorable pregnant woman. I spent a whole week with this woman fighting feelings of jealously and sadness. I truly adored the woman, but it still hard for me, even 4 months later.

Life just seems to be an emotional roller coaster that I came seem to get off of.

Avoidance doesn't work. It's inescapable.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fashion Friday: Summer's Fabulous Florals

If you know me, you know that I love all things girly. 
This means that florals are totally a style I can get on board with!
Here a few adorable and affordable pieces I found!

Too cute, right?! 
I think my favorite is the dark skinny jeans.
But you know me, I'd take em all!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mid-Year Resolutions

Every January 1st people set goals for themselves for the coming year. Weight loss, breaking bad habits, creating new habits and on and on...

We jump into these goals head first with ambitions of becoming better. But, usually by the time February 1st rolls around those goals have long since vanished and the new habits have been abandoned.

I always see this at my gym. January brings droves of new people in and it's beyond packed. I have to wait to use my favorite weight machines. The cardio equipment has a waiting list. The front desk is swarming with trainers and hopeful new clients. But, always by March things seem to go back to normal and the numbers even out.

Why must we only set these big goals for ourselves at the beginning of the year? And why do so many people focus on weight or their looks as a goal? (not saying I'm not guilty of this too...) This year I've decided to set Mid-Year Resolutions for myself. Well... a bit more than mid year, but whatever. I want my Mid-Year Resolutions to focus on me becoming a more well-rounded, happy person, not just one who's skinnier. (although, this would be nice too.)

I don't want these goal to be reminiscent of the people at the gym and gone within weeks. I want these goals to stick... To become my lifestyle, not just a temporary phase. Here's to hoping.

Try something new at least once a week: 
Whether it be a new recipe, a new hobby or just a new beauty trick, I promise to try new things.

No matter how busy life gets, make time to read:
Reading is one of those things that always seems to relax me and give me an escape when life gets tough. I promise to make more time to read and explore new books, even if it's only half an hour a night sometimes.

Nurture the relationships in my life that are important:
Plain and simple. I promise to focus on those I love to know, need to know, want to know.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

7-Up Biscuits

I've been seeing recipes for 7-Up Biscuits all over Pinterest for awhile now.

One night while deciding what to make for dinner I realized that I had all the ingredients on hand to finally try this bizarre seeming recipe. AND they would be perfect with the salmon I was making!

I typically double most recipes, but this one seemed as if it might not work, so I kept the original measurements. I mean, how could biscuits bake properly with pop and sour cream?!

Well, let me tell you, they bake just fine... More than fine.. More like amazing...
More like, eat the whole pan good!

You Will Need:
2 Cups Bisquick
(plus more for patting out)
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup 7-Up
1/4 Cup Butter, Melted

Step One: Preheat oven to 450 and add your Bisquick to a mixing bowl.

Step Two: Slowly add sour cream. Fold in with fork as you go.

Step Three: Slowly add 7-Up. Continue folding. Fair warning, dough will be very sticky!

Step Four: Add melted butter to the bottom of your 9x9 square pan.

Step Five: Sprinkle Bisquick on a flat surface to pat our your dough. Prepare yourself for frustration.

Step Six: Roll out the stickiest dough you will ever encounter. Be sure to flour your hands first! And even if you do you will be a sticky mess like me.

Step Seven: Cut your biscuits into squares. I used the bottom of a tupperware as a template. You know, cuz that's the proper tool to use in this situation.... Or maybe a biscuit cutter if you're fancy like that. Whatever.

Step Eight: Arrange biscuits on top of your buttered pan. 

Step Nine: Bake 12-17 minutes depending on your oven. Mine were perfect at14 minutes.

Step Ten: ENJOY. And try not to eat half the pan before your husband even gets to them. Not that I did that or anything...

I could not believe how good these were! I was worried they'd be sweet or lemony from the 7-Up, but not at all! They were perfect!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

I'm all about mirrors. I have them all over the house and I keep buying more. I love how they reflect light and open up a dark room. Plus, sometimes it's nice to be able to take a quick peek to make sure I look ok. You know, no eyeliner smudged, hair's not a mess, whatever.

I'm totally a craigslist fiend and am all about finding things for cheap or free! Awhile back I found this adorable antique mirror for only 20 bucks. I hopped right on it and had John pick it up on his way home from work. He, of course, thought it was hideous. It was this awful painted brown wood with gold trim. Not our style.

BUT. Anytime I'm looking at home decor, I always look past whatever color it is and look at what it is. Can it be painted? Can it be stripped and stained? This is the key. About half the items in my home have been refinished! That's the secret. It's so satisfying to take something "ugly" and turn it into something beautiful.

And even better, I can use paint that I already have to match the item to other decor in the room! When I bought this mirror I had absolutely no idea where I wanted to put it. I just knew I had to have it. After contemplating for a week or two I thought I would be a great future nursery mirror for over the changing table. (earthquake proofed of course, so it's safe!) Although we aren't even expecting yet, I figured this would be perfect. So, I broke out the nursery wall paint (Glidden's Swan White) with plans to hang it on the gray accent wall in there.

How To Repaint a Mirror

First, I carefully taped out the entire mirror with Green Frog Tape and laid the mirror down on some paper bags. (cardboard works too)

Then, I used my paint brush to dab in between all the finer details. This ensures that there will be no brown paint peeking through. I like to use an artists brush for projects like this (with less surface area). They are easier to handle, can get into all the nooks and crannies and leave less brush strokes.

Next, I added three coats (with about 25 min drying time in between) to the entire mirror.

Finally, I let it dry for about 3-ish hours, removed the tape, and voila! A beautiful new mirror!

I don't know why the reflection of my ceiling looks green in this pic, but I promise, no green ceilings in my house! The mirror looks a million times better! And all together this project only cost me $20 for the mirror since I already had the paint, tape and brush. Wa-hoo!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Kauai: Day Seven

As our last full day in Kauai, I woke up feeling a bit sad. Other than missing my dog, I was in no way homesick and willing to stay until the end of the month. We squeezed in every last minute of our day seeing as much as possible. We saw Historic Hanapepe, Waimea canyon, Salt Pond Beach, Glass Beach (filled with glass and black sand... too cool) and a wild baby pig joined us at dinner in Poipu! (at dinner, not for dinner... just to be clear!) 

Everything was absolutely breathtaking and I think this time I'll just do pics with no narration. Enjoy =)