The Announcement: Telling Our Families

We were so excited to share our news with our immediate family members (and of course, with everyone!), but with my parents and my sister living in different cities, it took a little maneuvering to get to tell everyone in person, without anyone accidentally finding out in the meantime!

The first step we took was to figure out a weekend that we were able to switch our plans a little to make the four hour drive to my parents house, and show up unannounced! In conversations with my Mom, I made sure they didn’t have any plans for the evening, and then we headed across the state. When we got to their town, we weren’t exactly sure what to do because we weren’t sure what time my Dad would get home from work; we didn’t want to arrive until they were both there, and we didn’t want to wait…

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WIAW Camping Edition!

I have slowly been getting back into the swing of things after camping for the last couple of days.  As I mentioned in this post I really wanted to try to continue eating healthy even while on vacation camping.  Eating healthy to change my lifestyle is a long-term goal that I am slowly working toward.  I didn’t want to let myself fall while on vacation.

I feel that I actually did pretty well.  I planned meals and snacks and took plenty of pictures of everything to document what we ate for a special What I Ate Wednesday Camping Edition!

Peas and Crayons

I did have time set aside to plan healthy meals and snacks for Hailey and I to take camping.  Plans changed a bit when Hailey became sick and came back home early from vacation with her dad.  A trip to the doctor, some wonderful TLC from my mom, and Hailey was all better and ready to go!

Grandma and Hailey

I want to pat myself on the back here.  Even though I ran short of time I still bought lots of fruits and veggies to bring along.

Healthy snacking for the car ride

We stopped at the grocery store right before leaving, and I chopped everything up at the campsite.  Yay me for not giving into “no time” and just buying processed junk.

I bought broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and carrots to cut up and eat raw with my homemade veggie dip.  Well, actually the recipe is from my Grandma Fran but I healthified (if healthified isn’t a word it is now!) it by using plain greek yogurt.  I love watching Hailey eat all of these veggies! It makes me feel so good knowing that good stuff is getting into her body.

I brought along chicken meat that I had mixed with taco seasoning.  It was leftover chicken that I froze purposely to bring along camping to make chicken tacos.

Ezekiel sprouted tortilla shell with chicken, spinach, tomato, avocado, cheese, and plain greek yogurt

I simply heated up the taco chicken in a tin foil pack over the fire, chopped up all of the toppings, and we ate!  Avocado is my new favorite taco topping!

While I did eat some unhealthy things like hot dogs, sunchips, puppy chow, chocolate, and soda, I really feel that I ate a ton better than what I would call “normal”  for camping.  I am super proud of myself and feeling great.

Even though it was super hot, we did manage to do a little bit of walking.  We also spent some time down on the beach.

The freezing cold lake didn’t bother Hailey much, but Jackson did not like it!

A typical meal for camping are “pizza things.”  I looked for a healthier way to make these and this is what I came up with.

I used this as the pizza crust

I used fresh mozzerella cheese but didn’t have time to shred it.  I tore it into chunks and it didn’t melt as well as it would have if it would have been shredded.  Still tasted awesome and Hailey loved them too!

I also had various healthy snacks for campfire time.  The munchies always seem to hit hard while sitting around the relaxing fire doing nothing.  I wanted to be prepared!

We also enjoyed delicious fresh grilled corn on the cob.  This turned out fantastic!

 All in all it was a nutritionally aware camping trip.  No rain, nice weather, lots of fun!  And I am super proud of myself for the way I ate!

Foodie Penpals Reveal Day – June

Today is the day I get to reveal the wonderful gift box I received from my foodie penpal this month.  Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean hosts this awesome foodie penpal exchange each month.  I know there are tons and tons of participants and she puts a lot of work into organizing it.  It is so fun to participate in!

This month I was paired up with a reader, Marissa.  Marissa is from Santa Cruz, California and is in her senior year of college pursuing a degree in Food and Nutritional Science.

Marissa really sent me some fabulous things!

My favorite has to be the two homemade treats she sent!  A delicious cookie and the most fabulous rice crispy treat! It had peanut butter under that chocolate topping. Yum!

I am packing this little “vacation in a cup” for our camping trip.  It should be the perfect healthy breakfast to help keep me on track during vacation and I cannot wait to try it!

Marissa also sent me this tasty cookie butter and some salty pita chips to eat with it.  The combination of the sweet and salty is was delicious!

This little healthy mix is also going to come in handy with my goal of staying on track during camping.  We usually eat like crap when camping and I have been doing so good lately and I want to keep up the good work!

It is always so nice to get a present in the mail! It feels like my birthday!  Trying all of these new things is so much fun.  Thank you so much Marissa!!!

Well, off to finish up some laundry and then to bed.  Working half day at the bank tomorrow morning and then seeing how I am going to fit all of our camping gear in the Trail Blazer.  Can’t wait….I hope it’s really hot too so I can be sweaty while doing the packing……ugh!  We need a camper!!!!

Check out what I sent to my foodie penpal Olivia over at Liv to Eat!

What I Ate Wednesday

Hailey is up north again this week with her dad on vacation so I am really trying hard to take care of myself.  When she is gone I tend to get sad, sit around, feel icky and lethargic.  Since I have been feeling better I decided to really focus on the food I am putting into my body.  Just taking it day by day.  What better than to do another WIAW post!

Peas and Crayons

Lately I have been eating this every morning for breakfast.

vanilla granola with almond butter

Ever since Rachel sent me some awesome french vanilla granola in my foodie penpals package I have been obsessed!  I found some at my local grocery store that is pretty tasty.  I also tried almond butter and am in love big time.  I have been having the granola with a dollop of almond butter every morning.  Yummy!

I love this time of year when all the fruit is delicious and in season.  I have been making sure to eat a lot of it.

strawberries and a plum

Lunch was organic scrambled eggs with salsa and Fontina cheese that was leftover from fondu night.

Another snack I enjoyed were these whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins.  I threw some in the freezer last time I made a batch so they were ready for me when I needed something to grab quick.

whole wheat banana chocolate chip muffins

Since I have been filling my body with actual food for the last few days I have more energy.  I feel happier inside even though I miss my daughter like crazy.  I am also feeling ready to start exercising.  I think I will just start out walking – ease into it so I don’t get discouraged and quit.  I tend to have an all or nothing attitude so I know starting small is important.

Dinner was also pulled out of the freezer.  I love freezing leftovers when I have the time to cook.  Turkey meatballs that I made from scratch with spaghetti sauce and quinoa.

turkey meatballs from scratch

A friend told me about the pasta version of quinoa.  I have never bought regular spaghetti pasta again.  It is healthier, tastes great, and Hailey also loves it.  Score!

So, that’s WIAW!  I just want to end this post by saying “Good job, Jaime! Keep up the healthy choices – – I know you can do it.”

What I’ve been up to while Hailey is gone

I have been working a lot of extra hours at my part time job lately.  This weekend will be the third weekend in a row of working there plus every day at the bank all day all week long.  I am starting to feel pooped out.  But, next week Hailey, Jackson, and I are going camping with the rest of the fam so a little r and r is right around the corner.

Last week I headed to my friend Jackielyn’s tattoo studio, Eye-Candy Ink to get some of my tattoos touched up.

Her shop is not your typical tattoo shop.  It is an art gallery, a pottery gallery, and a tattoo shop all in one.  The decor is retro, classy, and comfortable.  Plus Jackie is a friend of mine so that makes the experience even better!

Jackielyn

waiting area

She touched up the stars on my ankle, plus added a few more.

And she touched up the orchid on my floral sidepiece.

I also had the opportunity to reconnect with some girlfriends I hadn’t seen for about a year and a half.  I met them all through a previous relationship and when that ended so did all of the friendships unfortunately.  I mett up with the girls and we had so much fun!  I really am hoping to stay in touch with them all.  I missed them so much!

Carrie, Deanna, Me, and Dewey (Kerri)

I have been doing some healthy meal and snack planning for camping next week.  For probably the first time ever my sister, my mom, and I are all eating healthy at the same time!  We all struggle with the ups and downs of the food rollar coaster and it seems that we are never all on the up side together.  Right now we are, so I want to make sure to plan some healthy real food meals and real food snacks.

I had a few hours off of work this afternoon since I worked last Saturday so I took advantage of the free time and went to a new to me health store that a friend told me about called The Red Raddish.

It was very cute and quaint!  They really didn’t have too much more to offer than what I am able to purchase in the organic section of my grocery store, plus it was kind of a drive.

All in all I have been doing good distracting myself and keeping busy while Hailey is gone.  Only 4 more days to go till she comes home!! I know she is having a blast, but I miss her!

Always a struggle

I have been on a journey toward self-awareness for about the last year and a half or so.  I have been spending time with myself – – dating myself you might say.  Figuring out what makes me me and being completely comfortable with who I am.  A huge part of this journey is my negative relationship with food.

I may have briefly mentioned in previous posts my struggles with food.  I feel like I am always on a roller coaster (I hate roller coasters) when it comes to my relationship with food.  From as far back as I can remember I could always eat anything I wanted and not gain a pound.  I never worried about a balanced diet or exercising.  I didn’t think I needed to because I never gained weight.  The second I turned 30, that changed drastically.

I was married from ages 23 to 28 and I was at a healthy weight during that entire time.  I had maybe 5 to 10 vanity pounds I wanted to lose, but nothing major.  Even after I had Hailey I bounced back relatively quickly without any type of extreme diet or exercise.  I was still able to eat whatever I wanted and not exercise regularly.

I went through my divorce when I was 29.  I was dealing with a ton of stress and lost a bunch of weight.  My weight was what I was at before I had Hailey.  I felt like crap because I was eating tons junk food and was under a lot of stress.  Even though I felt awful inside, I liked how I looked on the outside.  Now I am 34 and I weigh as much as I did when I was 9 months pregnant with my daughter.  While I am feeling better on the inside (most days) I hate how I look on the outside.

Here is where the struggle is.  I know what I should do to be healthy.  I know the proper foods I should be eating, I know the foods I should not be eating.  I know I should be exercising.  Should, should, should.   An excellent counselor told me once to stop “shoulding” on myself.  Wise woman.  Why can’t I stop though?

My biggest concern is teaching Hailey about nutrition, being healthy, and making balanced choices regarding food.  I don’t want her to struggle with food and have a love/hate relationship with it the way I do.  My other concern is my own health.  I feel so unhealthy right now.  I want to feel good on the inside and on the outside.  I want my lifestyle to change where if I have a bad day or two I don’t completely collapse into a dark abyss of overeating.

That’s my vicious cycle.  I eat healthy for a while, I feel good, I have energy, I even exercise.  Then something happens – – usually stress and it knocks me right on my ass.  I shut down emotionally and ignore what I truly want which is to be healthy.  I become lazy and allow myself to eat junk.  I fill myself with nutritionally void food which makes me feel even worse and I sink into a depression that feels like quicksand.

Eventually I always pull myself out a little.  Occasionally I can keep myself going for a few months on a healthy cycle.  But always, always I fall.  Each time I fall harder.  I eat worse than the last time, I gain back even more weight, and I feel even more guilty.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to record what I am feeling, the thoughts I am having, what I am doing, and what I am eating with the hopes of being able to control this constant struggle.  My goal is to be able to change my life forever.  I want my norm to be eating clean and healthy on a daily basis without even thinking.  I want to lose 40 pounds and live a healthy lifestyle forever.  I want to eat whole foods that are minimally processed so that my body has fuel to work at its very best.  I want my day to consist of eating tons of fruits and veggies.  I want to be able to go out once in a while for ice cream or pizza.  I want to live this way so I can feel better and be an awesome role model for the most important person in my life – my daughter Hailey.

So, that’s some of my story, where I am, and what I am working toward.  Always a struggle for me, but I need to remember to take it one day at a time.  I also need to remember that every little step that I make toward my healthy goals counts.  And I need to quit being so damn hard on myself.

Feeling better

Ahhhh I am feeling good right now.  I have been sooo down in the dumps for the past few weeks.  I am struggling to pull myself out.

Today when I came home from work I found a clean house, lawn mowed, and supper in the oven.  My summer babysitter Abby rocks.  Totally bummed she is moving. : (

She helped Hailey and Liz (Liz is Abby’s sister who happens to be one of Hailey’s best friends) have a lemonade stand today.  The girls made about $25 bucks!!

Liz and Hailey selling lemonade, brownies, and bookmarks!

After dinner (which Hailey and I actually sat at the kitchen table to eat instead of the TV which unfortunately has been the norm the past few weeks) I whipped up a batch of these awesome muffins.  They have become a staple in our house.  I follow this recipe but use muffin tins and also add chocolate chips!  They are healthy, so filling, Hailey LOVES them, and they freeze really well.

Banana chocolate chip muffins

Then I went outside and checked on my plants, flowers, and garden.  Thankfully they were all looking pretty good considering I have been neglecting them lately.

sweet peas

tomatoes!

garden – please excuse my weeds!

I took a few pictures and now am snuggling on the couch with Hailey while typing this up.

I am hoping this happier feeling continues tomorrow.   I am going to go into tomorrow with the attitude of happiess and try not to focus on how awful the last few weeks have been.  No sense dwelling in what was – focus on moving forward!

A little piece of heaven

These past few days were fabulous!  I got the opportunity (thanks to my ex-husband!) to vacation up north at his timeshare for a few days with Hailey.  My ex had gotten an extra week and kindly offered to split it with me!  So, after Hailey’s dance recital on Sunday the two of us made the 3 hour drive up north.

I had not been there for about 5 years and it had not changed a bit!

Everything was just as beautiful as I remembered it.  The picture above shows the condo unit overlooking the lake.  The building has 10 condos with a pool and a hot tub in the middle.  They also have 3 houses and we stayed in this one pictured below.

I always enjoyed coming up here for vacation and every year when I was still married.  Hailey is lucky enough to spend 2 weeks every summer here with her dads side of the family.  A few months ago she told me that she wanted me to come up with her.  I said “I thought that was your special place with your daddy.”  She said she really wanted me to come up! Luckily enough a few weeks later the opportunity fell into my lap!  Thanks to a great relationship with my ex, I got to spend a glorious 3 nights and 4 days experiencing a little piece of heaven with just Hailey.

The view from our living room

ready for the beach!

We had such a wonderful mother/daughter vacation.  We laughed so much!  We read, we snuggled, we watched movies and ate great food.

Hot tub time!

We spent a lot of time at the beach, in the pool and in the hot tub.  Hailey built a huge fort for us in the living room one day and we both played in it.

ba baam!

hanging out in the fort!

Chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows

fondu fun!

chocolate milk cheers!

It was so nice to be out in the middle of nowhere enjoying beautiful views and fabulous weather.

aaaahhhhh

We were so deep in the middle of nowhere that we had no cell phone reception or internet connection.  It was so nice to truly unplug from the distractions of everyday life and just be there together enjoying a little piece of heaven.

our view when we woke up from our nap,

on our deck

We had such a wonderful time.  Hailey’s dad came up Wednesday afternoon for the rest of the week with her and I made the 3 hour drive home.

I am so happy to have had this opportunity to spend all of this one on one time with my daughter at such a beautiful place.

I love you most