Archive | All Things Amy RSS feed for this section

A Breath Of Fresh Air

18 Mar

If you’ve been reading along, you will know that I’m trying to change my relationship with food and to do that I have to retrain my brain. My automatic response to stress is to eat something, my response to sadness is to eat something, to an exciting event- to eat something in a celebratory fashion, and so on (you can see where this is going). And this is a very hard task to tackle. Today I woke up already exhausted, even though I fell asleep on the couch at 9 pm last night. The husband was out of the house as soon as my alarm went off at 6 am, the kids both woke up early making it extremely difficult to get ready and out the door on time, the cat barfed all over the place- you get the picture. So feeling rather BLAH and having to much to do to take lunch at my normal time I was drawn to go get something cheesy, maybe salty, maybe carbolicious, maybe greasy… but instead I took a short drive to a nearby regional park and got some fresh air for my lunch hour. It may be less satiating than a juicy burger but I get to feel better about my choices. 



Advertisements

St. Patrick’s Day Fun

17 Mar

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had this vision of the kind of parent I would be. I thought I would be the mom who never gave her child processed food, who would never use a TV as a babysitter for a moment, who was easy breezy and would let my children freely express themselves creatively regardless of the messes that would be created, etc. But things do not always go the way we invision them. Although the thought of my daughter painting anywhere on my property makes my skin crawl (yes, I’ve discovered I have a slight OCD issue with messes) and I just can’t seem to get around to making all my family’s food from scratch I have made a concerted effort to be a ‘fun mom’. Now note I don’t want to be a ‘cool mom’ i.e. a mom who lets their kids get away with everything and anything. I would like my kids to grow up and remember the fun and surprising things that I would do for them and with them. To that vein I have decided to make a big deal over all the holidays- even the silly ones.

For St. Patrick’s Day I decided that the leprechauns would come by to our house to bring something special to the kids- but I let my daughter know that leprechauns only come to bring treasures to little girls who wear green nail polish. So I picked up some forest green polish at Target (yay clearance).

Which she loved- she calls them ‘leprechaun nails’. I picked up a couple little things for the leprechauns to leave her, a green shirt, necklace, and a green My Little Pony. I did just a little decorating since I made them and I picked up some little gifts for my coworkers.

A lucky charm treat for my coworkers. I made little ‘rainbow seeds’ packs for my student workers and some white chocolate dipped pretzels with green sprinkles for my little munchkin. 

My mom used to always make Irish Soda bread for us when we were growing up so I decided to make some for my family. I cannot wait to try it tonight with the Irish Stew I have going in the crockpot!

Even though St. Patrick’s Day is not a major holiday for us, I still thought it would be fun to make a big deal and create some family traditions and memories. Maddie was so excited to wear her new green shirt and necklace and play with her pony- not to mention eat her treats!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The Journey Begins

28 Dec

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/684/23755180/files/2014/12/img_8351.jpg
My lil snuggler is 3 months old now and my heart could not be full of more joy with my little family. But there is one thing that is weighing on me quite a bit and that is the extra 20 pounds I’m toting around with me. It is true that I just recently had a baby and that’s a great reason to have gained the weight and to still be carrying it around but it doesn’t make it any easier to look in the mirror or to fit in my jeans. I’m not planning on having any more kids in the future and I’m dreaming of the day when I’ll be back in my prepregnancy clothes.

I was pretty tired and frankly cold this afternoon and all I really wanted was to take a nap during the kids’ nap time but I was reminded that whether I went to the gym or took a nap- I would probably regret not doing the other, but if I went to the gym, I might wish I had taken the nap but would probably be happy I got a work out in. I took that gentle reminder to heart and laced up my new hot pink and black running shoes and hit the gym.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/684/23755180/files/2014/12/img_8537.jpg
The gym was delightfully empty so I had my pick of machines. It’s hard to admit just how out of shape I am, I was definitely moving at a much slower pace and had to shorten each of the times on all of the machines. Having a difficult pregnancy and skipping about 11 months worth of workouts will do that to you. I was definitely sweaty when I left and proud of it, it wasn’t the best workout or probably the most successful workout I’ve ever had but the time has come to reclaim my body and take action to improve my situation.

I’m setting new goals and am going to be implementing all the strategies that I have been successful with in the past. After recently turning 30, I know that it’s only going to get harder to stay in shape from here but I owe it to myself, my husband, and my kids to embody and promote a healthy and fit lifestyle.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/684/23755180/files/2014/12/img_8540.jpg
Beating my bad habits is going to be tough. As I type I’m reminding myself, ‘you’re not hungry, you’re just bored’ and resisting my very strong urge to go for the dark chip chocolate gelato that is calling my name from the freezer. I am an emotional eater, a boredom eater, an overeater, a salty food lover, a sweets lover, a carb lover, a veggie lover, a comfort food lover, you name it- I love it. So portion control and cutting out certain foods will help steer me in the right direction. I’m trying to avoid looking at this like a diet but as a lifestyle improvement. Because, let’s face it- diet is an ugly four letter word.

Good Morning Smoothie

4 Aug

Pretty much in no uncertain terms my OB is not pleased with me. She let me know that I am 7 weeks away from my due date and 2 lbs away from the maximum amount that they wanted me to gain of 25 lbs (probably would have been good for them to set up expectations prior to me getting close to that amount). So of course my husband starts joking asking if ‘eating cookies while lounging on the couch is a recommendation for that’, which she laughed at but was like ‘no, I’m pretty sure that no one recommends that.’

Ok, so I have to do better. I know that although I have gained a few more pounds than I planned I am not too far gone and whatever I do and put in my mouth now is going to effect my ability to get back into all my cute pre-pregnancy clothes which I miss dearly. It’s a little tough thinking about getting up and getting out there to get more exercise since I have hit that 3rd trimester wall of being exhausted by every activity, from things as small as walking downstairs from my office to refill my water bottle to a full hour long grocery shopping trip with my three year old. Not to mention that it is just about a million degrees in Southern California as we have started the month of August. My body is revolting against me when I even think of going outside. But I know that I need to get more exercise to be able to have a smoother delivery and recover more quickly from the birth. But besides getting outside and taking a walk or a jog, or hitting up the gym during lunch while I am at work I know that I need to still keep working hard (much harder) to sustain making healthier choices when it comes to what I am putting in my body, and no I don’t spend all day or evening eating cookies on the couch. I often have to wait to eat breakfast until I get into work since I usually choose sleep over getting up a minute sooner to do anything extra in the morning. Which means that sometimes my breakfast selections are influenced by what I see on the way to work, like fast food etc. Now I only do this maybe one to two times a week but I know it’s not good and I need to start somewhere. So I am issuing myself a little challenge to eat a healthy breakfast at home each work day this week.

To kick things off this week I made my Good Morning Smoothie. I am pretty picky when it comes to smoothies and I am definitely not on the level of most of my friends with their green smoothies. To me, I don’t really care how good whatever crazy ingredients are for you, I care about taste. But with this smoothie I am able to incorporate lots of good healthy ingredients with great antioxidants and the taste is still great! It has a great berry flavor but with a slight citrus tang and is hearty and healthy! It’s very refreshing and I especially love this smoothie in the summer even though with the use of mostly frozen ingredients I can have it any time of the year.

20140804-130028-46828349.jpg

Good Morning Smoothies

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen Strawberries
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 fresh banana, sliced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup 2% milk (could use another kind of non-dairy milk if desired)

Empty all ingredients into your blender and liquefy to desired consistency. *If it needs more liquid, I recommend adding more orange juice. Enjoy!

20140804-130111-46871910.jpg

20140804-130137-46897664.jpg

20140804-130138-46898548.jpg

20140804-130136-46896752.jpg

20140804-130228-46948559.jpg

20140804-130229-46949443.jpg

20140804-130248-46968707.jpg

20140804-130305-46985171.jpg

20140804-130304-46984261.jpg

Busy Busy Weekend

13 Nov

We have a lot of crazy busy weekends around my house with tons of family and friend’s birthdays, baby showers, errands, holidays, weddings, work obligations, etc. This weekend seemed pretty tame going into it, we had the opportunity to be invited to the YWCA Annual Gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Friday night and I had a hair appointment. Not too crazy for a three day weekend. Somehow between Thursday night and Friday afternoon my weekend blew up and became jam packed, but we made the most of our time and was able to get everything done.
On Thursday night I offered to watch my niece so my sister and brother in law could celebrate their anniversary this weekend. On Friday morning I got a text that my friend was in labor (two weeks early) and she had her baby that afternoon. On Friday afternoon one of my grad school girlfriends let me know she was coming out and wanted to get lunch. Suddenly things got a little more complicated!
On Friday we got all dressed up and took a little drive to Beverly Hills to attend the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles’ Annual Gala which my husband’s firm had purchased a table. I was able to learn more about the wonderful mission of this organization (empowering women and eliminating racism) and the great works that they are doing to achieve their mission in the Los Angeles community.
IMG_3240
Collage.jpg

On Saturday I had a hair appointment jammed into a bunch of errands, seeing my friend’s brand new baby Layla, and having a sleepover with my niece. We dropped Madeline off with my mom so we could go visit new baby Layla in the hospital, after we stopped to get the new parents some treats from my very favorite Italian delicatessen Cavaretta’s to get cannoli’s, sprinkle cookies, cream stuffed butter cookies, etc for them. We got to visit with the precious new miss for a while and the very tired new parents who were holding it together quite well. We picked up Madeline and my niece, watched Tangled, made homemade pizza, and had ice cream sundaes.

saturday.jpg

On Sunday once the sleepover was over, we rushed around to get some errands done so I could get out to lunch with Madeline and my friend and Dan could go see his grandfather. All while trying to get home in time to make sides for the brisket that Dan was smoking and get ready for the week.

I barely left 30 minutes of time to make lunch on Saturday before dashing off to continue my scheduled activities. I definitely wanted to get a homemade meal on the table for my husband and myself to avoid the default of fast food. I had some salmon in the fridge and decided to throw together one of the quickest things I could think of: Salmon with sauteed veggies over ramen noodles. I wanted to make something light but tasty and this fit the bill.
IMG_3297
Ingredients:
1 Salmon filet
dash salt
dash freshly ground black pepper
dash garlic powder
1 lemon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons soysauce
2 packets of top ramen (uncooked, unbroken)
1 cup shredded carrots

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place salmon filet skin side down, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lightly with garlic powder. Squeeze lemon juice over salmon and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until salmon is cooked through. Slice salmon into individual servings.
In a small sauce pan heat vegetable oil over high heat and saute vegetables for about 4 minutes, add garlic and soy sauce. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Vegetables should be just tender but with some bite.
In a large pot bring a couple cups of water to a boil, when salmon and vegetables are cooked add the ramen noodles without breaking (do not add seasoning packet) boil for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain noodles and serve meal by layering noodles, veggies, and then salmon. Serve with additional soy sauce, if desired.

IMG_3283
IMG_3287
IMG_3291
IMG_3292
IMG_3296
IMG_3294
IMG_3297

Project Time

25 Oct

When I was in high school I had a column in our school newspaper called “Sports For Idiots” and each month I would review a new sport and give basic information about the sport. I would write about the general rules, how many points are scored for each goal, home run, touchdown, etc, how many players on the court, field, ice, etc, and explained some common lingo so that the uninformed can gain a general working knowledge of the sport and understand and perhaps enjoy better the sporting events they watch. It was definitely my favorite running column that I wrote.

I think my experience doing this has prepared me for my new gig as the Financial Literacy person in my office. Having the ability to help totally uninformed people to gain important knowledge that will benefit them profoundly is apparently my thing. I am working to help our students gain the skills that will allow them to make responsible well informed choices about their financial future and it has given me a new sense of purpose in my sometimes mundane job. I am pretty excited about this if you can’t tell :).

dos-equis-meme

Image

Beginnings and Endings

17 May

Today is the last day of the Spring Semester at the university I work at. This means a lot of last minute changes and some moderate freak outs on the part of our students who have not covered their balances. Today also marks the last day of undergrad for many of our students and some of the student workers I have become close with over their last four years. It has meant a lot to me to be able to be a part of their lives and to help them and guide them when they wanted advise. Two of them are going back to their home states and one of them has a job lined up already nearby. It’s a sad time knowing that I will no longer get surprise pop ins by them and no longer get to sit down with them and talk about life, but it’s such an exciting time for them to be exiting one important step in their lives and moving forward toward the lives they will lead from now on. This is now the fifth graduation I have seen on this campus while working here and it is always the same wonderful scenes of proud graduates and even prouder families, palpable excitement and  nerves as they prepare to cross the stage. It’s a very rewarding time for all the graduates, their families as well as all of us administrators and faculty who have worked hard to help these students get through their tenure at our institution. Congrats to all!

Commencement_2009_101

This picture was from my Master’s graduation in 2009 with my two grad school besties.