My Healthy Life: A Journey

my healthy lifeSo, today is my birthday! Hooray! It’s also my goal date for my weight loss, and I’m about 14 lbs from it. Obviously, I’m not going to lose 14.5 lbs today, but that does not mean that I’m not proud of what I have done. Although I have cheat days, I focus on eating whole, clean food that makes me feel good when I eat it. I have started a yoga routine, and sometimes I’m even able to fit in a work out.

I’m able to wear some of my old clothes, and I was able to store some clothes that were just too big, and that feels so good. Sometimes when I’m showing Cecilia herself in the mirror, I catch a glimpse of myself and I’m comfortable with what I see. So even though the scale may not be showing the results I was hoping for, I can already see the improvement in my confidence and personality.

And it’s not just the weight loss. I feel a lot healthier than I did before. I can chase my daughter all over the backyard and not feel winded. I have learned how to bake and cook because of this journey, and I have saved my family a lot of money because we don’t go out to eat all the time like we used to. I have done it all just by eating better and working out. I did not take a magic pill, or limit myself to shakes. No crazy diets…just eating better and remaining active.

Wanting to step up my game a little, I decided to take a Core Strength Yoga Class from Sadie Nardini. Let’s just say that it was a 30 minute class, and I lasted 15 minutes. I was happy to hear my daughter cry when she woke up, so I could pretend that’s why I had to stop. If you want a yoga class to make you cry, check her out. I’m pretty sure I threw my back out, but I’m going to try it again this weekend to see how far I can get without injuring myself.

Photo from Sadie Nardini. Talk about a badass yogi

Photo from Sadie Nardini. Talk about a badass yogi

Yesterday, I wanted to find a low-impact workout since I was still feeling messed up from that yoga class and walking over 2 miles to find the Sacramento Antique Fair (one could say I really love antiques), so I found a good pilates class…and I think I’m in love. The class was a 15 minute beginner class so it was perfect for me, and it’s through Pilatesology. You can sign up for $19 a month and can opt for a 10 day free trial if you want to test drive before you buy.

Photo from Pilatesology

Photo from Pilatesology

I also made this pumpkin turkey chilli from The Gracious Pantry, but used potatoes instead of turkey. I added a couple cups of water to help soften the potatoes, but that is really up to you. I absolutely loved the way it turned out. My soups usually lack flavor, but not this one. The coconut milk was perfect for this recipe, and added a lot of spice and flavor. Next, I’m going to make it hotter by adding some chili peppers.

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And finally, I wanted to share something I found on Greatist yesterday. It’s a list of 50 bloggers making a difference in fitness, health and happiness…and it’s definitely worth checking out. The bloggers are all listed by category and you can click on their names to be directed to their site. I’m going to go through the list and will share some of the bloggers that I find inspirational and awesome.

Image from Greatist

Image from Greatist

Are you ready to take this pledge with me? To include healthy and real ingredients in our food and to remain active – no matter what the activity is? I would love to get this healthy party going. I will be sharing more and more healthy recipes, workouts and yoga routines that I feel are worth sharing, and introducing more real food bloggers. If you would like to join me on this journey, I would love to have you. Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and share your journey with me by using the hashtag #myhealthylife or tag me in the post.

Weekly Wishes #3

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

This is the third week I have been blogging about my Weekly Wishes – an awesome link-up started by Melyssa of The Nectar Collective – and I have to say, it has been a huge motivator. I’m holding myself accountable for my goals and challenges, and I’m figuring out why I didn’t do what I had planned to do. And it always boils down to do this…life really does get in the way. It might seem like the biggest and most widely-used cop out in the world, but it is true! Sometimes, you really don’t have enough hours in the day, and that rang true last week.

Last week’s wishes:

Business: Get together with Heather to go over her Press Release (very exciting stuff!

Creative: Restore the three-tiered basket I recently purchased at the Lodi Street Faire and finish my chalkboard tray to use as a prop for my photos.

Fitness: 15 minute workout along with a 15 minute yoga session in every day

Home: Switch out the garden – work on moving all of the old stuff out, cleaning up the garden area, and starting planting new veggies

I did get my business wishes completed last week. I got the Press Release from Heather so I can start promoting her work more, and I found a bunch of new author communities for her to join. She’s going to look through all of them and pick one for now. She’s also looking at independent bookstores in San Diego where she can do a reading and sign some books – so I’m excited to see what happens there! We also have some Book Reviews I need to check on and share!

As for my creative wish – I got the tray done, finally! And as it turns out, it works perfect as a prop for my photos! I used to take a photo of a recipe I’m working on, and it added a really nice touch. I need to find a rust removal solution for my three-tiered basket, so if you know of any – please let me know!

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I was not able to get much of an exercise routine in last week, so I’m going to try it again this week! My daughter is starting to get more of a sleeping schedule down, so I should be able to fit something in during her naps.

And, my garden. I’ve decided to hold off on working on it until I get some new plants in. Then I can take a day to just clean it out and put new stuff in. I need to look up what plants will do the best in this season and go from there. I’ve started making salsa and hot sauce with the peppers from my garden, and that is a big motivator to keep it going!

This week’s wishes:

Business: Start working on my logo and graphic design work for Baby Burrito Collective. I’m going to work on the website as well, but I at least want to get my branding done before I do more work on the site. My goal is to eventually learn web design and build my own website, but I’m taking it all step by step. I’ve learned what trouble I face if I try to do it all at once, so I’m trying more and more to take my time with everything. I’m going to keep a Pinterest board with all of the colors, fonts and designs I want for my site.

Creative: Start working on the three-tiered basket. I need to soak it in some rust removal solution and then I will paint it a lovely color and hang it in the pantry. I didn’t know how much I would love repurposing and upcycling old stuff to make it the way I love it, but it gives me such a rush! I also need to work on the chalk/cork board I have been wanting to fix. I have the frame, just need to make board now.

the baskets are holding the cheese grater

the baskets are holding the cheese grater

Fitness: Get a routine. I did so good for the last couple weeks, and now the weight is creepily finding it’s way back. I just need to get a routine that works for me instead of worrying about doing it for a certain amount of time, and just doing it every day. Even if it needs to be something quick, it’s better than nothing, right?

Home: Get all of my peppers and basil out of the garden before the frost hits and start canning like mad. I’m hoping to get a pressure canner, which will help a lot. I’m thinking of canning apple butter, hot sauce and pesto as part of my Christmas gifts I’m giving away. I always love getting that stuff, and I would love to do it for my family!

What are your weekly wishes? Write about them and link up to the Nectar Collective. You can also share them in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Here’s to having another lovely and productive week!

 

Weekly Wishes #2

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

Image belongs to the Nectar Collective

Last week I started a new weekly series called Weekly Wishes that I found on a pretty amazing site, The Nectar Collective. It’s a weekly link-up where participants write a post (such as this) and link it up to the post Melyssa writes on Nectar Collective, then you leave a motivating comment on the person’s post who linked up directly before you.

In doing so, I actually found Andrea Lui, who runs a handmade jewelry shop on Etsy called Oh! Jewelicious. Her work is beautiful and while I’m not much of a jewelry person, I can see myself wearing her stuff! I especially love the sparrow earrings. It’s hard for me to wear necklaces or anything that dangles because Cecilia has quite the grip and I wouldn’t want it to break. Look how cute these sparrows are…there is also a necklace to match!

Image belongs to Andrea Lui

Image belongs to Andrea Lui

I shared my weekly wishes for my business, creative, fitness and home wishes last week, and

Last week’s wishes:

Business wish – Create buttons for both my Sweet Mariposa shop and my blog. Read through Ch. 9 in The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin.

Creative wish – Finally finish these cheese graters! I’m going to share the tutorial on my Linkouture when I’m done!

Fitness wish 15 minutes of exercise + 15 minutes of yoga each day

Home wish – Start canning all my vegetables from the garden

How I did:

I did end up creating my buttons for Sweet Mariposa, but have decided against making buttons for my blog at this time. I don’t think they are really necessary right now, and I have some projects in the works for this blog and may create a few buttons then. After looking through loads of different tutorials – only to be unsuccessful at all of them – I took the easy route and just copied the code from a button I got from another site and entered my information. Simple, eh? You can see the button on my sidebar – hooray!

I’m also through Ch. 10 in The Handmade Marketplace so I’m pretty sure I will finish the book this week (there’s 12 chapters). I’m going to jot down some of the information I got from the book and see how much of it I can incorporate in my own work. I will be writing a review in the near future.

I also finished the cheese graters, and I sent my tutorial over to the wonderful Bev at Linkouture, so it should be up soon! It was a big challenge of mine to get these done, so I’m relieved I finally did it! You can also find them at my Etsy shop. I can do different colors and styles if you fancy one.

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I was able to squeeze in a couple bodyweight workouts through Fitness Blender, and I treated myself to a couple restorative yoga sessions at night, but I find it really hard to stay on my fitness goals. So I’m really focusing on what food I’m putting into my body and getting exercise when I can – which isn’t hard with how mobile my little one is now! We’re always walking and exploring so that certainly helps. I lost a few pounds in the last week so it’s working!

And finally, I put all those crazy peppers to good use and made some homemade hot sauce! I used a recipe I found on Pinterest and I’m still having trouble finding the original website. I’ll share the recipe this week but here’s a photo for now! I also made homemade apple butter with that recipe I shared last week that I got from My Baking Addiction and it was amazing! I put it on my toast this morning and topped it with banana. I could have eaten the whole jar but figured I better save some for tomorrow. I will share my experience with making both later this week.

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Now moving on to this week!

Business: Get together with Heather to go over her Press Release (very exciting stuff!) and get her into some awesome author communities! After becoming an Oh My Handmade member, I am true believer in how important it is to be a part of a community. They help you go over ideas, and will support your work and everything you are doing any chance they get. We need to get all of her bases covered so we can continue networking and promoting all of her wonderful work.

Creative: See that three tiered basket in the picture? (hint: it’s #7) I want to restore that this week. I’m going to hang it in our pantry an use it to hold all of our bread and snacks. I just can’t decide if I want to paint it all one color or use multiple colors. Let me know your thoughts! Last week, I also started to work on a serving tray that I was upcycling into a chalkboard cheese tray. I’ve since changed my mind and decided to use it as a prop for photos. I just need to make a few little fixes and I’ll be done…so I wanted to finally finish it this week!

thrifty finds

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Fitness: I’m going to continue working on my goal of getting a 15 minute workout along with a 15 minute yoga session in every day. It’s challenging but I feel so good after I’m done that I want to continue working on it. It’s also such a lovely feeling to not have to cringe every time you try on an old pair of pants. I’m also making it a goal to get rid of the white sugar and flour in the house, and find good, healthy replacements for sugar.

Home: Well, it’s time to switch out the garden. I’m going to work on moving all of the old stuff out, cleaning up the garden area, and starting planting new veggies. I’m going to look up what will be good to plant right now and look into planting some succulents and flowers. Of course, I will be sharing my journey with you along the way! Although my garden had its ups and downs this season, I learned a lot – and I was able to make so much from it! Hoping to get a pressure canner soon *fingers crossed* so I can more and more good stuff!

What are your weekly wishes? Write about them and link up to the Nectar Collective. You can also share them in the comments and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Here’s to having another lovely and productive week!

Momma’s Garden Project: The beginning of the end

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This is everything I pulled from my garden yesterday. To say my garden is a mess would be a huge understatement. I let it get away from me for a few weeks, and weeds took over everything. There are ants everywhere and it’s almost too much for me to maintain with the small amount of time I get to spend on it.

So, here is what I’ve learned from my first garden:

  • You don’t need to plant everything you see at the Nursery
  • One garden bed per new mom
  • Maybe don’t even start with garden beds. One garden pot per new mom
  • You don’t need an entire six-pack of peppers. Start with one pack.
  • Look at when it’s good to plant something
  • Think about what you actually eat and decide to start there

I am going to make hot sauce with most of the peppers and then dry the rest. But, it’s almost too consuming for me right now. I shouldn’t have taken on such a big garden for my first time, and I should have dedicated every Sunday to it, like I planned.

I’m going to pull what is left next weekend then I will probably take the plants down before the frost hits. I’m going to get the rest of my basil out now and make all my pesto, then maybe downsize to a smaller herb garden that I can put in front so it will be sheltered from the rain.

At least I can say that I was able to give a lot of family and friends gifts from my garden, and we haven’t bought tomatoes in a long, long time! It was an awesome learning experience and I’m so glad I started it. I have truly learned that to be good at anything, you need to put a lot of time into your practice. This will help me on so many levels, and I’m not sure I would have seen this so clearly if I had not started my garden.

The best part of it all – I can finally get into canning!

Thrifty Thursdays

thrifty thursdays

To say that we use a lot of hot sauce in our house would be a serious understatement. The good thing about that is that I have a serious amount of peppers in my garden right now. I can barely contain them all. In fact, I’m having a really hard time doing so. Although I know the summer heat will be looming around for a while, I need to start preparing for the cold weather, and therefore, the end of my beautiful pepper plants. So, I have found the perfect solution: homemade hot sauce! I know I shared a recipe for homemade hot sauce in my Father’s Day post, but I wanted to share a few more recipes I found. Also, I happened upon a new site for finding recipes! Don’t worry though, Pinterest and I are still very much in love.

The new site is called TasteSpotting, and although there are ads on the site, you can click on the food icon, and it will take you directly to the site. No “image links,” just the real, original recipes. At least that’s what I’ve found so far in my hunt. It also led me to a beautiful site called Honest Fare, which is where I got my first recipe.

Image belongs to Honest Fare

Image belongs to Honest Fare

Homemade Hot Sauce from Honest Fare – I’ve found myself gravitating toward really clean, natural sites that make me feel relaxed once I land upon them. She shares recipes for both green and red hot sauces, and they both look amazing and delicious. She also happens to co-own a food truck called La Empanada Food Truck, and she has her own apron line, so I take it she is pretty busy, and pretty awesome.

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Image belongs to Illustrated Bites

The Hotness from Illustrated Bites – The super unique – and awesome – thing about this blog is that Heather Diane, the creator of this blog and recipe, is also an illustrator and uses her skill to illustrate all of her recipes, like this one. As a person whose heart flutters every time I see a good design, I love this site. If you are into the design aspect as much as I am, you can check out more of her work at heatherdiane.com.

Image belongs to Allyson Kramer

Image belongs to Allyson Kramer

DIY Hotsauce from Allyson Kramer’s Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes – First of all, I would like to applaud Allyson Kramer for taking on the hard task of creating recipes that are both gluten-free and vegan. Those two weeks that I was a hardcore vegan were probably the hardest two weeks of my life. Now, I wasn’t cooking then, just eating black bean tacos every chance I got, and a whole lot of fake meat. So I was the worst vegan in town. I digress, she has a really good recipe, and even a hotness chart for the peppers. She also has a couple cookbooks and she’s an artist. Sometimes I’m lucky to clean the house AND take a shower in the same day, so I’m always flabbergasted by people who can pull of more than that.

Do you have a hot sauce recipe that you would love to share? Or did you use one of these recipes to make your own? Share in the comments and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #homemadehotsauce. Check out more of my inspiration on Pinterest and feel free to pitch any Thrifty Thursday ideas. Stay thrifty, my friends.

Momma’s garden project

Sadly, a lot has changed since I last wrote about my garden, and it’s rather depressing. My potatoes didn’t last in the ground, and they did not make it through the transplant into my pots. After I planted those dang things, I read up on them a bit (yes, I know it’s better to read before planting, but obviously I don’t roll like that) and learned that they are actually very tender plants and need some TLC to correctly grow.

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So, I’m hoping that the next time I try to plant them, they will actually survive, now that I know what I need to do. My tomatoes are going good but the sun pretty much destroyed a huge chunk of the plants. I was able to get rid of a lot of the burnt parts, and now they’re growing better. We have been lucky enough to pick tomatoes whenever we need them, so I shouldn’t complain.

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And I had to get rid of my broccoli because the sun also destroyed that plant to the point of no return, and I realized that I never really use broccoli in my cooking. Maybe for a stir-fry or something, but I could definitely do without it.

The only plants that have lasted through this heat without too much maintenance are all of the peppers. We literally just pick the peppers when we use them, and they have lasted for a long time. Thinking of making some good salsa and hot sauce! Every time family members come over, I usually send them off with some peppers. Even if they don’t like them.

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My basil also made a surprising comeback, and is flourishing out of control right now. Hooray for pesto upon pesto upon pesto! I’ve also been able to use it for a bunch of other dishes, so I’m really happy it’s growing so well, cause it ain’t cheap. And the compost is doing it’s thing and, you know, composting.

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This week seemed to mesh really well with the last prompt on the Grow Write Guild, which is: This Plant is Driving Me Nuts. The potatoes were definitely driving me nuts, and sometimes the tomatoes can make me frustrated! I did what I could with the potatoes, but luckily I was able to resurrect what was left of the tomatoes and they are still harvesting.

I just have to keep reminding myself that this is my first time with a garden that houses more than just herbs, so I need to cut myself a little slack. But just a little. I’m excited to move these plants out when they’re done and try this shtick all over again.

Momma’s garden project: Week 13

I was fearing for the worst when my garden started to die due to the heat over the last few weeks. But then I increased the amount I was watering them and all of a sudden, they were blooming again! The most awesome plant in my garden thus far has been the tomato. I have been able to give A LOT of them to my family and still keep a bunch for us. We always buy tomatoes when we go to the grocery store so it’s pretty awesome to not have worry about that for a while.

The peppers have also been insane as of late, so it looks like I’ll be making some salsa soon! Along with the homemade tortillas I’m learning to make, we’ll be good! The only issues I’m having are with the potatoes and red onions, which are in the ground. We tried to pull them a couple weeks ago to see how they were doing, and we got nothing. But I’m going to pull them again next week and hopefully I will have a few potatoes to show for it!

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The most recent prompt for the Grow Write Guild was to write about a plant that is in bloom, which seems to perfect for right now, since all I can talk about is how wonderful my tomatoes are right now! I’m not even a tomato fan, I just can’t wait to make my salsa right now! The only thing I would change about the tomato is getting cages for all the plants. I do like the way it looks growing wild, but when I water it, I end up watering all the weeds too so it would be better if it was maintained!

Definitely getting cages for all of the plants next time around.

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The broccoli isn’t really doing too good right now. I’ve been pulling the weedy parts, so that all of the water goes to the broccoli, but it’s still taking a while. I’m going to pull the flowers that I have growing right now to see how they do.

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But what has been improving is my compost! I stopped adding to it, started mixing it up a lot more and kept it hydrated, so the food was able to compost faster. I’m hoping to have the compost ready by next Spring since I already have enough soil to last me for now. Luckily, the smell doesn’t completely blow me away when I go out there and I haven’t found any unwanted visitors…yet.

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So this is my garden right now, how is yours doing?

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Feel free to share your garden’s progress with pictures and the hashtag #yardlife on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Or share your pictures and stories by linking to your blog in the comments! You can check out more of my project on Facebook page and see more of my garden inspiration on Pinterest.