Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thoughts for Thursday

It's 11:55pm my time right NOW so I figure literally no one will read this Wednesday! ;o)

Today (Thurs), I am watching the lovely toddler Miss E, like usual.  I have been lucky enough to take her to toddler gym at our local city center on Thursdays! I love it!!! She has so much fun and crashes for her nap afterward! HA!  I usually love Thursdays because I just have her.  Nickolai's mommy stays home with him on Thursdays so Elaina and I get to hang out and do whatever!!! Well, today I get to take one of her little best buddies too! So, I will have two 'almost two' year olds on my hands today. It's going to be GREAT! :o)

We've had a lot on our minds lately... We may very well be moving in the next couple of months.  We bought our house a few years ago and while we love it and can see ourselves spending a good five more years here, the location is not ideal.  At the time that we bought it, it is what we could afford... where we could afford it! And, honestly, it's in a great neighborhood it is just about 30 minutes from everything we do! Work, friends, church, etc.  I work 6 days a week and Brandon works anywhere from 5-7 days a week. Couple that with trying to make it to church on Sundays and that makes us commuters literally every day!  We try to carpool and are successful at that at least three times a week but  it just doesn't always work out.

Before I was done with school I got a bug up my butt and started looking to see what we may be able to afford in town now that the market is in a worse state for sellers.  However, I wasn't willing to take on that task in the middle of finals and the holidays... DUH!  So, a couple of weeks ago we started discussing it again.

Lucky for us, my mom is our Realtor.  I have the luxury of calling her at any time and she pretty much will come and show us stuff at any time! I also have spent many afternoons scouring the roads of the neighborhoods we would want to live with the kids I watch in tow. I mean, I entertain them by singing silly kids songs so what's the difference!? ;o)

Well, we found something.  Enter rapid heartbeat.  See, we aren't willing to sell our current home.  We just plain aren't going to.  First off, because we'd love to own a handful of homes by the time we're 40ish and also because we wouldn't make enough profit to use as a down payment.  We also aren't willing to rent a home in town because we have three animals and with all of the deposits and what not, it just doens't seem worth it when we qualify to buy another home.

Enter fears... First comes the task of renting our own home. Gosh, I hate that.  I hate that someone else will be living in my home! Isn't that weird? That's the point, Chelsi DUHHHH!!!! I just know what risk comes with being a landlord and while it's an amazing opportunity for us, I'm scared.  Let alone the actual task.  Any offer we make will be contigent upon us renting our home.

Second, we're not millionaires. Duh! So, it is definitely a risk for us to take on a second mortgage! And not to mention, we can't afford our dream home right now so we will definitely be moving again in the near future (3-5 years.) I always forget... that's part of the plan. But moving sucks!!!

Third, I'm kind of a house snob. There. I said it. It's out. I feel better.  I'm not a snob in that I have to have the nicest of everything RIGHT NOW. But, it would be nice... right? HA! Our home right now is a starter home but it boasts some features that I never thought I'd be able to have in our first (or second?) home! So, this other home that we Brandon loves? Well, it's about ten steps backward from our current house.  So... let me get this straight.  We want to move out of our nicer, more open feeling, more modern house and let some strangers trash live in it so that we can live in something not as nice?

Enter perspective... I need to change my attitude! I know this. I need to be thankful for all we have... and I am. However, both of us... BOTH of us have worked very hard for what we have. So, I definitely feel like I have a right to be picky! You know? And this is my blog anyway... so I can say whatever the heck I want. Just don't judge me too much okay?  I'm feeling a lot of pressure from outsiders in my life that are glaring at me saying "stop complaining about the powder pink laminate in the spare bathroom and be thankful!!!!" But the powder pink countertop is terrible! It really is!!!! HAHA!!!

There are things I love about this house... but I'm going to leave that for another day. I'd hate to brighten up this post with good things!!! Haha, I kid.  But really, I'm just trying to let off steam here because I'm nervous and aprehensive... It's a big deal!!!! 

I should note, we haven't even submitted a formal offer.  So, we're really NOWHERE near getting this home. Lord knows how real estate works!!!! But just the idea that we're pre-approved and looking is a little nerve wracking in itself.

Because of my nerves and anxiousness... I made a really diet friendly treat tonight:

Ok, I lied. They're not diet friendly. Geeze... They're from bake350, btw! They're pretty good but I burned them (per usual!!!) I gave Brandon the inside piece that wasn't burned at all.  I prefer burnt things at this point in my life. LOL!

Alright... well thanks for letting me vent! I hope that Thursday treats everyone well!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

{lululemon quotes} Quote #2

Creativity is maximized when you're living in the moment.

I can totally relate to this quote... As much as I love to plan and be organized, it just isn't my strongest quality sometimes.  Plus, I tend to be way more creative when I get an idea in my head and run with it.  I think it can be tough to plan creativity.  "I am going to make a beautiful flower arrangement on Saturday!" Oh, well that sounds kind of silly, right? I mean, sure you can plan to make it to the Farmers Market to buy the flowers you will need but you most likely won't know the exact placement of each stem before you're in the moment, right? 

My favorite creations have all been adapted from their original version during the process of making them.  One great example are some cookies that I've been trying to make recently.  I've been a terrible baker in the past but have always envied a good sugar cookie!  So, I decided to take the task on and I ended up with these!  Looks pretty decent for a first timer, right?

I plan to make Valentine's Day ones and hope they turn out great!!!  When I started these cookies I just knew I wanted them to taste great. But, I ended up making them look pretty cute, I thought!

Anyway, my point in how this relates to me is that I often reach much more potential than I thought I could if I just let myself be creative.  Instead of holding strong to a template of what you think you're trying to do... let your mind wander!!!

Ok, that's enough words of wisdom for today! Oh, I love myself and my sarcasm!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Movie Review: The Other Woman

I'm not much of a movie buff.  Actually... I have seen very few movies in the whole scheme of things.  It seems there is always someone around me quoting some sort of movie that I haven't seen! Irritating!  So, one of the things I have been wanting to do with some of my extra time these days is watch a few flicks here and there.

So, when Brandon fell asleep while I was doing dinner dishes around 10pm last night (we eat late...) I decided to let the Mr. sleep and see what I could find OnDemand (other than Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! HA!) This proved to be one of the main contributing factors as to why I don't watch movies.  They're TOO much commitment!!!! With TV I can change the channel at any time... I didn't pay anything additional for it and I can even watch two or three shows at the same time! I can never make a decision about which movie to watch, etc. Oh geeze, sounds pathetic! 

Anyway, after my SIL said that Salt was pretty terrible (and she loves most movies) I decided to go with The Other Woman.  I did see Black Swan with Natalie Portman a few weeks ago, so I thought I'd indulge in another of her films.

In a nutshell, this movie is about a mistress (Natalie Portman) who becomes pregnant and then quickly becomes the new wife of her lover and step-mother to his 8 year old son.  The ex-wife (Lisa Kudrow) proves to be the most difficult ex-wife portrayal I have ever seen in a movie!  Of course, Portman is playing a "home wrecker" but that aspect isn't really highlighted in the movie so it just makes Kudrow's character seem even more harsh and nasty.  Portman has a difficult time getting along and adjusting to her "high maintenance" step-son and the loss of her newborn daughter certainly makes that ten times more difficult.  So, essentially this movie is about a woman who, in eighteen months or so, is supposed to have become a mistress/home wrecker, mother, step-mother, wife and parent who has just lost a baby.  WHEW! 

I didn't quite know what I was in for!  I was bawling like a baby by 40 minutes into the movie, that is for sure.  Thankfully, I appreciate movies like this.  I kind of have my own philosophy that in order to love to the fullest you have to know and experience tragedy of some sort to the fullest.  Not necessarily death, but in order to feel and understand one extreme, you must have known the other.  Does that make sense?  I am not at all an expert movie critic or whatever, but I do appreciate some real and raw emotions about real life situations that happen and don't always end with the white picket fence.  This one actually doesn't end on a completely downer note, but watching two hours worth of a mother struggling to cope with the loss of her baby girl is pretty treacherous, in my opinion!

One aspect of this movie that I really liked was how it brought to the surface the issue of SIDS, infant and child death and also miscarriage.  I think this is a topic that is too often shoved under the rug and I was pleased to see a movie that tackled it head on.  There is a particular scene in the movie that I remember cringing at because Portman compares her daughters loss to a miscarriage saying that her baby was actually a baby, not a fetus and that her loss MUST have been much greater.  Now, I'm not here to get into a religious, political or philosophical debate... But, I know of women who have had miscarriages and I know that their loss, in their minds, is no different than the loss of a child. Who are we to judge one person's loss over another... anyway? So I was pleased to see that scene play out also.

I wasn't too impressed with the acting, especially by Kudrow but I'm just not really a fan of hers ever.  Portman was okay, but a lot of the lines seemed forced and I feel like it could have been done better by someone else...not sure who.  I've never seen the actor who plays the dad before but I didn't fall in love with him either! HA!

The only other movie I can compare this to is P.S. I Love You which I also bawled through and loved. So, if you hated that movie, definitely skip this one.  If you're one that just watches a movie to "feel good" then also skip this one. Anyway, didn't mean to be a downer, I just have been thinking about this movie since I watched it last night and I figured it was a good blog post... Well, at least to get it off my chest!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hey, it's TUESDAY!

Well, Monday came and went and I never posted my menu plans. I have a good reason...

I haven't made one!


Oh well.  I'm going to make one RIGHT NOW!

Monday:  Pot Roast!  Brandons favorite... well tied for favorite with meatloaf!  I plan to post how I make my roast, it's delicious!
Tuesday:  Bow Tie Fiesta Pasta from this blogger.  I will post how that is too! You can find the recipe by searching her site for it.
Wednesday: Turkey Meatloaf, potatoes and a vegetable.
Sunday:  Taco feast with family! The Seahawks are playing the Bears and it's going to be a great game!!!

Ok, well I know that was kinda half-arsed but it's just that kind of week, ok?  Thankfully I haven't needed anything for these meals and shopped for a TON of fresh veggies & fruits last Thursday so I am set to go for the week! YES!

I'll be back later this week with something more exciting. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

{lululemon quotes} Quote #1

I have a list of inspirational quotes that was tucked neatly into my bag when I made a purchase at lululemon months ago.  It's been hanging in my bathroom and every time I see it I think it would make a great series of blog posts. Some of them are funny, some of them are cliche... but I think I like them all. So, I'm going to try to share them every now and again!

It was hard to pick the first one... But then I read the VERY last one on the list and knew it had to be it!

The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you two steps behind. DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW!

I kind of figured that one was relevant for all of us who are trying out our New Year Resolutions or if you are like me my "Not New Year Resolutions"!  How many times do we put projects on the back burner or goals in the back of our mind because we just don't want to deal with it at that moment? Raise your hand if you have a laundry list of things you want to accomplish this year... *Raising my hand HIGH HIGH HIGH!*  Write them down, put them in a place you can see them every day to serve as a reminder and try to set a realistic timeline for them.  That's what I'm doing!  I'm keeping a hard copy in our kitchen (next to the weekly meal plan) and I also write a list in dry erase markers on our bathroom mirror. I have done the bathroom mirror thing forever and I actually love it. I used to use post it notes saying stuff like "gym clothes" or "pay PUD!" but the dry erase markers are just easier! HA! Plus, it's easy for me to leave a note for Brandon in front of his sink so he surely sees it in the morning. :o)  The dry erase markers clean off easily, I promise!There are some random things on my list too, I'm not going to lie. Among finishing painting jobs and replacing my kitchen faucet, I have written "go visit Stephanie" who is a dear friend of mine that lives on the other side of the state.  I have said for the three years that they have lived over there that I am going to go visit... every time I get off the phone I say it. I AM GOING TO DO IT!!!!!

If you like this quote, write it at the top of your goal list.  We are bound to experience a crash and burn in a few weeks months when the newness of this year wears off and we start to feel unmotivated.  Try to prepare yourself by planning for that crash and knowing how you will proceed when you get there to keep yourself motivated!

Friday, January 7, 2011

{lack of} Preparation

Preparation is key to being successful in many aspects of life, right? 
  • being prepared for an exam
  • being prepared for giving a presentation at work
  • being prepared for guests coming over to your house
  • being prepared for when you pass with life insurance and wills, etc (woah, that one is serious...)
  • being prepared for being parents....
Being prepared is typically the "smarter" way to do things and there are endless examples of preparedness.
Sometimes I'm great at being prepared.  Staying up late to prepare food for a holiday meal or a family gathering or staying up late to make sure every single last thing is packed before a trip are both things I do regularly. Or maybe once in a while having a term paper ready BEFORE its due date! In more serious aspects we are prepared with life insurance and we started our early years of marriage prepared for our future by investing for retirement and buying home instead of spending money in other ways (that could have been more fun, maybe...) However, typically I like to fly by the seat of my pants.  I've determined that this is because I have some issues with self discipline.  Instead of taking the time to prepare for things I spend it doing other mindless (but sometimes more fun) activities.  I've come to realize that some of my biggest dreams are not coming true or will not come true without the discipline that I need to enforce. 
It's my biggest struggle in life, I think.  Don't ask me about the container of jumbo cookies that I bought at Safeway yesterday... 7 out of 10 of those cookies now reside in our county's dump because it was garbage day today! HOORAY!
So, I think this will be common theme in some of my posts this year.  With school being done, I have no more excuses.  Sure, we are busy. EVERYONE is busy. Or, should I say... we all are as busy as we allow ourselves to be, so quit whining! HA! But I will be trying to implement more discipline into several areas of my life this year.  Because life isn't about excuses!
Can I just say that one area that Brandon and I both have improved on in the past two weeks is less TV?! Is it a small victory? Yes! But it is a victory!!! The cheerleader in me wants to say "give me a V!" :o)  I have even read six chapters in Firefly Lane (Kristen Hannah) already this year. I mean, that's huge for me! I think it has helped that I downloaded this book for my MIL on her nook that we got her for Christmas so we're supposed to be reading it together. Um, I'm not sure she's started yet. HA!  
Last night I also took steps in keeping myself prepared for this weekend's lunches.  I cooked up a huge batch of an extra healthy stir fry full of veggies and short on salt! :)  Well, short-er on salt than I usually would have made it... !
  • Red peppers
  • Yellow peppers
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli
  • Brown rice
  • Teriyaki sauce
In attempt to be healthier, I sauteed the onions with Pam and then added water to let them cook and not burn. HA! I burn everything... Then, I cooked brown rice and added half of the teriyaki sauce I would have normally. Then, I set containers out, measured the rice and filled them up with the veggie mixture!!! Oh what, I PREPARED something for lunch/dinner at work??? WOW! That's so AWESOME! I'm proud. :o)  This just means that I will not have an excuse to indulge in my FIL's homemade clam chowder that is on special at the Family Biz tonight, right? Because I will be prepared with my healthy stir fry!
Do you want to see it!? You do? Sweet! 
The two smaller ones are lunches/dinners for me and the larger ones are Brandon's.

The bottom container with the pinkish lid is full of "ants on a log".  Definitely a healthier alternative to clam chowder and tater tot snacks at 10pm when I'm hungry at work tonight!!! ;o)

That's all for today friends, I'm off to read a few more chapters before I have to shower and leave for work! Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mexican Sunshine...

I was lacking in creativity today.  I also don't have the time to collaborate an entire post about our vacation.  So, instead... I'll post a few pics! :)

When we arrived in Cabo, this was the view from the lobby of the hotel.

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Pretty crappy, right? ;o)

Our hotel, Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach, was amazing. Seriously! It was 24 buildings built into the side of a hill or something and spanned over 50+ acres.  Our room was one of the very top buildings with one of the best views!!! The sunset was gorgeous every single night.  We sat on our balcony and enjoyed a bottle of wine one night, a bottle of Hornitos one night... oh, I mean not the WHOLE bottle of Hornitos. ;0)

This is what we mostly did though, chillax at the pool. FUN! I even read a book. Hey, that's HUGE for me!!! :0)

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Thankfully, we were joined by some of our best friends. We had a blast!

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That was the worst tequila any of us had EVER witnessed, by the way!!! It was Uriah's birthday though. The server said it was "special."  That it was... HA!

Best of all, I got to spend time with my BFF and my Husband. LOVE!

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I have a lot more to share, but for now that'll be it! Mexican Sunshine did wonders for my spirit! :) I needed the R&R!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

Hey, it IS still Monday over here in the PNW... :)

Recap of last week:

Sunday: Made the scheduled recipe and it was "ok".  I ate leftovers for lunch at least two days, success!
Monday: Ended up eating out with inlaws. Brandon's grandparents are snowbirds and they were leaving the next day.  We try to squeeze in as much time as possible when they're home for the holidays so I suppose my meal planning would have been a lame excuse! ;)
Tuesday: Unplanned events... I got invited to a movie by my SIL and Brandon decided to play pool with some dudes. :)
Wednesday: YES! We ate at home! Pad Thai and Peanut Sauce, success! My PS needs some work, but it was good.  My Pad Thai was actually pretty good! I ate it as leftovers for lunch, double success!
Thursday:  I worked Brandon's shift so he could watch the Huskies beat the Cornhuskers in the Holiday Bowl! WHOOOP!  ***Chelle... Stinky Cougs!***
Friday:  My fabulous husband made Taco Soup for us to enjoy at work that night.  We were supposed to make Chili but they are more or less the same ingredients. :)  I also ate this as leftovers several times!
Saturday: No meal made. :(

Ok, so this week wasn't stellar.  I still have plenty of groceries left over that I will utilize this week, I hope! I suppose I was a little ambitious.  I'm going to go with three this week because of our schedules and obligations...

Sunday: Family Function... Seahawk game!
Monday: Topopo Salads:  Tortilla chips, refried black beans, romaine, shredded chicken, cheese, avacado, tomato and Italian dressing. YUUUM-O Sounds odd, right? It's really yummy.
Tuesday: Brandon is doing some handy-man work at his mom and dad's and I have a hair appointment! Yippee!
Wednesday: I am helping a friend's daughter with the FAFSA and college apps. JOY! No really, I enjoy helping. She's making me dinner. :)
Thursday: Working... Brandon is going to the Husky basketball game with BIL and his dad.
Friday:  Turkey meatloaf, mashed cauliflower (still haven't made it!) and carrots. YUM!
Saturday: Slow cooker chicken tacos.  Put chicken breasts (we do five or six tenders but it would be about 3 breasts for 2 adults and leftovers) in crock put with half of a jar of salsa. I use PACE! :) Seriously, let it cook for 4+ hours and shred the meat! It's SO delicious! And, can we see it's healthy!? YES!!! Then, I make this yummy corn salad that I need to do a post on. Canned corn, black beans, lime juice, peppers, etc. Delish!

WHEW!!! This week is all jumbled. Too many obligations! Oh well, such is life! I am still glad to have it all planned out.  I also love that Brandon is calling me during the day and asking what we're having that night and what he can bring home or help with. BONUS!!!

Did anyone try any new recipes this week?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just in Time for 2011

New Year's Eve Eve I got a text message at 11pm from a fellow classmate: "All grades are posted!"

Insert nervous heart palpitations.  Did I think I failed? No. However, I am not one to assume when it comes to my grades.  Especially not after the curveball that was thrown at me two terms ago. A C after 100% on a midterm, final and two essays? How does THAT happen? It did and I didn't have the balls confidence to stand up for myself with the Dean. So that C remains on my transcript, forever. *Damn*

I certainly have kept grad school in mind this last phase of my undergrad career because I know that there is a great possibility that I will want to get into a decent school in a couple of years.  So I suppose that's where the nervousness was coming from. That's also where my pissed off-ness comes for the stupid C that I have!!! The only positive aspect of that is that was an elective and not a core class, whatever!

Anywho, my fingers were flying on my phone's keyboard trying to log into the secure WebAdvisor for my school. Such a pain on a phone, right?  Much to my happiness, I logged in to find two As for this term. Not one, but TWO! That gives me a grand total of twelve As, one B and one C for the last year and a half of my school.  Not too shabby, right? RIGHT!!!!

Insert pure happiness and satisfaction here. Thank GOD! I now can celebrate. And let me tell you, last night? We did. HA! This morning, dry toast and honeycrisp apples have been my BFFs!

By the way, I feel like I'm gloating about this... Please know that I am not.  I am not very great at very many things.  But school, I take pride in.  I am good at it and I love it. Well, we have a love/hate relationship... you know how that goes. HA! But, usually I am pretty hard on myself and don't let myself brag about much.  So, excuse this brag post and please don't think I am acting like I'm hot stuff! HA!

I hope everyone rang in the New Year safely (probably from your pillows, right?)  We have had gorgeous weather in the PNW this week and Brandon and I are about to take a long drive into the country to visit his grandparents that have a farm.  Brandon plans on shooting his new (old it was Grandpa's) shotgun and I plan on enjoying the crisp air and gorgeous view of Mt. Rainier out there. :) Sounds like a fine day, right?  Enjoy your Sunday everyone! I will be back tomorrow with this week's menu and a recap of how our menu this week went!