Foodie. Weighing in on my way of thinking

      Rest assured, I am definitely a self proclaimed foodie. My love of food has lead me to try just about any delicious meal placed in front of me.
I eat to share in the company of friends and family. I pick up a little treat to celebrate a tiny victory. I stuff my face when I want to numb or distract myself. I graze when I’m bored.
And at the top of the list of foods I delight in during those occasions my weaknesses, sweets and fresh breads, dominate.
Now don’t get the wrong idea. I can eat up some veggies and fruits. But if I have a choice my weaknesses win. Hands down. And that’s precisely the reason my weaknesses have now become a burden. I can’t put all the blame on cupcakes and loaves of breads because it was my hand shoving them in my mouth. I was accustomed to these foods and how I consumed them but they were costing me. I was forfeiting my health for habit and comfort.
Today I’m at a point where I realize something else has to change…and I should start with my way of thinking towards my health.

Why have I decided to get healthy?I’ve always played a yo-yo game with my weight since a child. I’ve never had too much trouble getting my weight back down. But, after having my son, losing the weight hasn’t been very easy for several reasons.

 

  1. I use to be determined to lose weight because I was constantly comparing myself to every other girl.
  2. I could eat whatever I wanted and drop the weight quickly because I was a college student with a minor in dance. I also had full access to the gym where I worked out 5 days out of the week.
  3. When my weight would start to get out of control, I would jump on the next fad diet and kick it back into shape.

 

How have things changed? After having my son I slipped far into my weight gain because there is no fad diet you can do while pregnant. As hard as I tried, what baby wanted mommy ate. Then my eating habits never changed. With 30 extra Ibs post-baby, I was chowing down like a teen. I worked a full 8 to 5 job with no gym in sight or energy to go and find one. I have more excuses  than a salesman has pitches. So with all of that, it has been a lot harder for me to get this weight off. Fast forward to four years later when I finally took a good look at how my weight and health has declined, I knew I had to stop beating myself up and become motivated to approach my health with a new perspective.

 

  1. I’m no longer dieting, but changing my habits to create a healthier me!
  2. I’m not making any more excuses, and I’m carving out time to keep my body moving.
  3. I understand it isn’t going to happen overnight, so I have to be patient and consistent. It didn’t take a few weeks to put on the pounds so I will need more than a few weeks to take them off.

So here is my first step of many to becoming the woman I know I AM! Hopefully it can help encourage and inspire you!

My Weight: 208 pounds (ouch that hurt typing that) @ 5feet 3inches

**Everything I share here is my life and my opinion.

“Be Your Own Matchmaker” 30 Day Dating Detox

If you haven’t followed the debacle known as my dating life, then you aren’t aware of my history. I’ve been in the dating pool longer than I expected and it has drained me of my humanity. Therefore, I would encourage you to check out “Single & Single” so you can get a better feel of why I believe my way of dating has gotten me nowhere, literally. But before I continue I really don’t mind waiting so you can catch up HERE! 😀

So now that you’re all caught up (seriously check it out HERE) I wrote “Single & Single” in 2015 and ever since I’ve been jogging light circles around the dating track. Recently, as in January 2017, I started binge watching Millionaire Matchmaker on Netflix (no judgments) and I thought Patti Stanger had some pretty solid points. Engrossed in the 6th season my curiosity of whether or not her rules could really land me a mate was getting the best of me. I couldn’t help searching the web for her book and some reliable reviews.Of course the first place I began my search was Google where I was linked to Amazon’s 2009 copy of Patti Stanger’s “Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate” with over 200 reviews. NO. I did not read all 200 and something reviews but I did try to read a few from each star level to get opinions from all sides. And like with any product reviews people complained. They protested that her methods were unconventional and outdated. But she also had a lot of good feed back too. The good reviews praised her different methods of getting yourself out there and what a person should do to attract a mate.  Reading the last review I thought, “Why not? It couldn’t be any worse than what I’ve gotten into,” and with one click I purchased my paperback copy.

And here we are at my 30 Day Dating Detox, day number 24 (because I started on the 1st of February).

My detox is 30 days because I haven’t been in a serious relationship lasting over a year in…too long.

Take 60 days if your last relationship lasted for 2 years

Detox for 90 days if your last relationship was a marriage or lasted 3 or more years

Breakdown:

The purpose of the “Dating Detox.”
FOCUS: Yourself
GOAL: Get Happy. Get Active. Get involved. Get an idea. I’ll be touching bases on the first goal because that is actively where I am. 

Get happy.  “First figure out why you aren’t happy”

This seems like a no brainier, and when I read it my immediate reaction was, “I am happy!” I’m sure it was your response too, right?! But as I read further I realized sometimes the obvious is the first thing overlooked. And I was overlooking the baggage I was carrying form my past relationships. I wasn’t a complete Bitter Betty, but she would creep in at any thing that reminded me of my exes. Like a girlfriend telling me about a guy’s bad habit, or a picture of an ex circulating in the endless space know as the ‘cloud’. It was clear I needed to detox my heart and my home, and Patti outlined how I could accomplish that once and for all.

Forgive

That’s right. You have to forgive. Forgive them ALL. No matter how terrible, gross or jerky. They are the past that can not be changed, so “Get overt it & forgive!” And I’ve had my fair share of unbelievably difficult boyfriends, but Patti was right. I needed to let the past go and let my heart be free. Along with my mind from replaying all the ways I was done wrong. From that moment on I needed to focus my thoughts on the awesome one to come.

Forgive. BUT do not. I repeat, do not go back. Wrong direction sweetie. I would know.

Get Happy Quick

A happy person is an attractive person. To get a jump start on being happier in Patti’s book she suggests writing down 12 things that instantly make you happy. At first I had no idea what those things would be until Patti gave an example of her’s. So instead of you having to rack your brains I’ve included my 12 below.

Purge

This solution may not apply to women who believe that once a man leaves all his shiiii…stuff has to go. I on the other hand have been a bit of a collector of ex things. Wait wait wait before you scold me let me explain. I’m not the collector who keeps everything so I can pull it out later to reminisce about old times, but more for practicality. For instance the iHome given as a present. WHAAAAAAAT?! I knew I wasn’t going to buy me another one. But I hadn’t realized that even things like that could be holding me back from allowing Mr. Rightforme into my life. And let’s face it I’m sure he’d rather I found a new home for those things now, instead of later.

So here at day number 24 that is what I am currently doing. Forgiving. Getting happy. And purging the mess out of my pictures, clothes, jewelry, & electronics so I can be one step closer to my match. 

D.I.Y. Backdrop for Blog Photos

How many of us have admired the pretty marble or wooded backdrops of other blogger photos? I know I have.

Usually when I take photos of products or books that I am reading for my blogs I’ll lay them on my white desktop. Though the pictures come out clear they always seem a little flat and lifeless. And for the past few months I’d been toying with the idea of creating a custom background using wrapping paper or contact paper on poster boards. The only issue was finding the design that wouldn’t overpower my products. They were either too bold or too plain when photographed. I began to feel discouraged as I drove to every Walmart, Hobby Lobby, & JoAnns in a 20 mile radius from my house, and I still was unable to find the design that was the perfect contrast. I knew my idea wasn’t terrible, but I also realized there had to be another way.

Then a couple of weeks back I stumbled onto this great blog by Missa (her blog HERE). And after I read her post, “My New Blogging Photo Set Up“, I was inspired.

In Missa’s blog she suggest using sample laminates and attaching them to a MDF to create a gorgeous backdrop. My DIY backdrop is exactly like her idea. The only difference is I fell in love with a Montagna Dapple Gray tiling (a bit heavier than laminate, but just as pretty).

Below I’ve mapped out step by step instructions of how I created my D.I.Y. backdrop. Prices are also included.

All Supplies are from Home Depot

1. 1/2 2×2 Plywood $5.15
2. Simplemat Tile Setting Mat (9 sheets @ 9″x 18″) $21.97
3. 6×24 Montagna Dapple Gray (4 @ $1.92 a piece)
4. Scissors 🙂

The great thing about the Simplemat is you do not have to deal with spreading glue and waiting for everything to dry. The Simplemat is already cut into squares. Which is perfect and takes the work out of laying down the mats.

1. With each Simplemat only peal off the white paper.
2. Lay each mat on the plywood.
3. Press the mats into the plywood to get all the air bubbles out.
*You may need the scissors to cut the squares down.

1. Once you’ve laid all the mats down, peal off the clear paper.
2. Lay down the tile/laminate.

My personal tip: After I laid all 4 tiles down I sat on them. Yup, I sure did. In “my mind” I believe this secured the tile to the adhesive.

BOOM!

And now you have a beautiful backdrop for those semi-professional pics. I hope this was helpful in getting your creative juices flowing. Until next time 😉

February 2017 Dubbed Anime on Hulu Plus (A-D)

Aesthetica of A Rogue Hero (2 episodes)
 

Afro Samurai

Air Gear

Astro Boy

Black Butler (4 episodes dubbed)

Black Lagoon

Bleach Shonen Jump

Blood Lad  

Blue Exorcist

Buso Renkin

Cardfight! Vanguard

A Certain Magical Index (4 episodes dubbed)

Claymore

Coppelion

Corpse Princess

Cowboy Bebop  (4 episodes)

The Daichis – Earth’s Defense Family

Danganronpa: The Animation

Date A Live (2 episodes dubbed)

Death Note

Deltora Quest

Geeking Out “Log Horizon”

Obviously if you’re reading this you are a fan of Anime or at least interested in getting into the Anime scene. And now that big time American subscription services such as Amazon, Netfilx, & Hulu have made it easier to access these little gems. The excitement behind anime has grown along with the variety of anime being released. I must admit I’m not a SUPER-anime fan, also known as an otaku, but anime has always held a special place in my heart. I remember my very first anime…Aeon Flux in 1991 (uggh my age is showing lol). And as the years have flown by I still get caught up in a good anime series.

Ok Ok you’re right. Enough of memory lane. Lets get to the good stuff. LOG HORIZON! This anime. Wow. I am in season 1 episode 22 and I can say for a fact “Log Horizon” has a good balance of everything. There is sword action, magical abilities, gaming background, pockets of romance, humor, and a maturity that doesn’t weigh down the viewer’s conscious. The creators really took their time with this one and they truly have me invested!

About The Show:


The show is about a global multiplayer role-playing game called “Elder Tale.” In the game players level up by completing missions and eliminating monsters (don’t worry the show walks you through everything). The twist is one day the players logged in the game are not able to log out. An event known as the “Apocalypse”. Although the current players are trapped in, no new players are allowed to log in. What was once a fantasy becomes every players reality. The players will have to learn quickly how to adapt to their new environment quickly. Nooooooooooow if you were looking for spoilers you are not getting them here. Sorrrrrrry.

Why I’m Geeking Out:

The character growth and personality of each character during their time of adaptation is such a lovely process to watch. I can’t help but to love most, if not all, the characters. They all bring something unique to the table and it doesn’t take long to see how each character plays a part in the growth of the story-line. Mentioning the story-line it definitely keeps the viewer on their feet. And though “Log Horizon” never leaves their viewers behind it doesn’t have them ahead of the characters either. So you learn as the players learn. If you aren’t a big gamer, don’t worry. The gaming aspect of the series is explained to you as the action is happening. The graphics are a work of art that is a delightful detailing to the eyes.

My Favorite Characters:

 SHIRO –> He is the main character and an master enchanter/scribe. He is 23 and is incredibly tactical. Though he may seem a little cold at first he has a warmth to him that makes you want to cheer him on.

NYANTA –> This guy is actual an actual “Catman” who is also a master swordsman/chief (weird combo. Right?!). He is referred to as “Chef” by most of the players.I love the old school feel of this character! He is just too smooth lol. He is believed to be a player who is 40 years old or older, but he keeps a steady faith in Shiroe.

NAOTSUGU –> He is a guardian and your “typical’ big jock character who is really into ladies…you will find out. The surprising thing is that in this series they give him depth, so even with his high school mindset towards women he is likable and Shiroe’s right hand man.

If you are brand new to anime I might suggest “Fruits Basket” or “Ouran HIgh School” as your first taste of anime. Only because they are easier to follow. But if you’ve put your toe in the world of anime I suggest you do not delay and check out “Log Horizon” on Hulu Plus now in English dub (dub- episodes the at English voice overs).

Valentine’s Day IS Underrated

It wasn’t even February as I walked into most of the big name stores only to see what could be the aftermath of the “love fairy” throwing up all over the store shelves.

In plain view were aisle of hart shaped boxes of chocolate, over-sized stuffed animals, glitter filled cards, and bouquets of plastic roses polluting the entire area. Now a few years ago I would have turned up my face and complained (to myself of course) about the overrated holiday known as Valentine’s Day. And no single person can disagree that V-Day can be a little overwhelming and geared to a specific demographic. For as long as I can remember I’ve imagined on this particular day that my Hollywood expectations would be met by the love of my life or at least someone I was dating. But every year that fantasy popped like a Suzy-bubble right in my disappointed face. Instead I would be left in my pj’s and a box of candy purchased with my own money watching <insert action movie here>, so you can see why for so long I cursed or overlooked this particular holiday.

Then one day a few year ago the rosy cloud that had put a damper on my belief of the purpose of Valentine’s day lifted as reality settled in its place. That reality being I had amazing women in my life, who by the way were also single. The truth was love wasn’t limited to romantic relationship and neither should V-Day. So Instead of fretting over Mr. Right I’d recreate my perfect Valentine’s Day. Not wasting any time, I did a group text to the girls and proposed a new way to celebrate. At first it took a little convincing to break from the norms during the most coupled populated holiday, but with the right motivation they were on board. I promised them there would be no pressure other than to bring their “A Game” as if it was Mr. Dreamy taking them out.

I did what I would have wanted my boo-thang to do if I had one for Valentine’s Day. I made reservations two weeks in advance to a fancy Italian restaurant with a romantic atmosphere in the city, Brio Tuscan Grill. Then I prepped myself by buying a stunning navy blue dress, scheduled a nail and hair appointment for that day, and pulled out the dainty accessories. I was all set. 

When the day rolled around I was feeling good and looking sharp, and as the girls arrived to the house it was obvious they were taking this just as serious as me. Our future husbands were missing out (just had to plug that in hehe), but my 2yr old son dressed in his grey tux would do.

Brio Tuscan Grill

Arriving at the restaurant the building was packed along with the waiting area with unprepared boyfriends who sat next to their annoyed girlfriends. Walking to the front the hostess without hesitation let us know the wait was over an hour, but as soon as I let her know we had reservations her whole attitude changed. She flashed us a smile and asked us to wait a few moments while she checked to see if our table was ready.  The hostess was back in no time with several menus in hand as she directed us to follow her. Slipping through tables flushed with couple after couple peering at our little group as if we were the strange ones.

Once we were seated the rest of the night was amazing because I was in the company of wonderful people surrounded by delicious food filled with love. From that day on we declared to celebrate V-Day together…and we have.

 

 

 

 

I encourage you to take the Hollywood out of your V-Day and re-write the script to include family members, friends, pets, or just celebrate YOU because there is so much more to love. Now that’s an Underrated Valentine’s Day.

Single & Single

So here it begins… or at least the parts where I’m totally transparent about my fears and growth of dating at a stage where I’ve thrust myself into the unknown. The unknown being, sought after by other men after my own failed attempt at a family. Then the fear of functioning in a society that has the ability to perceive me as the stereotypical single mother. And finally the unknown of how I am going to balance my life as a new mother and a woman who still has needs. All in all what could be more frightening? Before I outline present pressures and issues, let’s press rewind (and no I didn’t mean scene selection) on the chain of events leading up to this point.

-We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. -T.S. Eliot

The quote that popped into my editors head after reading my last statement lol pure genius!

I’m closing in on the latter part of my 20’s, and for the last two and a half years of my life I have “technically” been single. What I mean by technically is I ended an official engagement of less than a week to my boyfriend who finally did a proper proposal, instead of it being implied for the last two years of our ongoing relationship. Not only were we engaged, but he was the father of my son who I was undoubtedly 8 months pregnant with at the time. And just like that, what we had built was over and I fell into a state of– I might as well say it … desperation.  Here I was, embarrassed by a broken engagement and a mom at 26 with the father of her baby MIA. The title of that chapter would fittingly be “The Days of Our Lives.”

Once my emotional rollercoaster of feelings began to level out I was left desolate in a sea of numbness. Wanting to feel the tingling sensation of my heart again, and coaxed by the loneliness of my situation I was tempted to unearth my past. Pulling the dusty chest from the attic of my brain filled with my exes (and their numbers) I reached deep down into its belly looking for comfort. What I found was familiarity and stagnation. Even with the time that had passed between each ex I managed to put myself back in the same unfavorable situations, but this time my tolerance was far less attainable. I no longer tolerated the continuous weeks of disappearances from men who said they wanted to rekindle a past relationship or the blurry lines of our involvement.

 

Side note Editor Was it all love if it was in the past to call it that? Do women find it all to be love even when it doesn’t work out?

To answer my awesome male editors questions: no it wasnt all love but there was love there and it doesnt just go away because it didnt work out, but you have to respect when it doesnt and love from afar.

This time around I was no longer a young girl worrying about herself, but a young woman and mother looking after her child. So instead of my desired outcome of rekindling a lasting love –and keeping that number count down jk, or not. I discovered myself never committing to a single one of my exes and gaining a healthy reminder of why my exes, were my exes. In that time, I learned some pretty valuable lessons.

  • No you can’t change him; he is who he says he is.
  • No not everyone deserves a second chance or third or fourth.
  • Yes leave your past in the past.

For me, I learned I would be better off leaving the nostalgic memories of dating before baby era in a tiny box labeled open if you dare.

So here we are, back to the present, where I’m no longer heartbroken or disillusioned about what could possibly happen with another man. I’m at a point where having a companion is wanted but not necessary. Dont get me wrong I miss being with someone who appreciates me and I want to have a bond, but I refuse to force or go chasing after an idea that I can make any old thing  work.

Yet I can’t just sit around the house and wait for someone to come knocking at my door announcing, “I Am the One”—even though that would be pretty convenient. I know I have to make an earnest effort to meet and get to know someone new, although it has been scarier than I imagined and a bit hilarious too. The scary part is the idea of creating new bonds that may or may not last. Since my last real relationship was formed from a chance meeting at a Walmart, I don’t really have practice in the countless areas you can now meet someone. I’m finding myself at a place where I want to meet men in a public setting, but still having to resort to online dating because of …hmmm Time? Scheduling? Places? Nope, because of the plain failure to launch circumstances. I’ve decided what better way to get through the neglected city streets of my life known as, ‘Dating in my Late 20’s’ and ‘Dating as a Single Mom’, than to share my experience with women having to go through the same thing.

Oh, and, by the way… you’re welcome. Lol.