Penny

Penny
Sweet Puppy.... as long as she's sleeping

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Vloggy Vlog

Inspired by my amazing friend Darby over at Life With The Hawleys, I've decided to to my very first Vlog.  She and her friend Crystal from Homemaker in Heels are hosting a Vlog link up party.  I decided to jump on board since I have been interested in making a Vlog for some time now.  Also, I've been really feeling a desire to get more into the world of blogging and becoming more involved in things like this.  I'm eager to get connected with other blogs and I saw this as a great ticket.  Darby and Crystal met via blogging, and hopefully soon I can be friends with people like Crystal (I'm already in love with her blog!) and other amazing blogging ladies out there in cyberspace.

So without further ado, here is my very first attempt at a vlog.  Enjoy!


video


Prep

So, the other day I posted about my goal for this week: to make (and drink) green smoothies every day for breakfast.  It's healthy, portable, and perfect for an on-the-go breakfast.

This morning, I made a menu for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week.  Grocery list in hand, I made my weekly shopping trip today, and got everything I needed for the week, including fruit and spinach for my smoothies.  As I was putting my groceries away, I got to thinking.... I have to be at school before 7 am every day.  I am not a morning person.  Will this discourage me from making smoothies each day?

So, instead of getting overwhelmed, I got practical.  I went ahead and prepped everything I needed for the entire week!  Here is everything I purchased, although I already had the random kiwi and the frozen fruit.  I will say that I normally use Almond Milk instead of greek yogurt, but the store was slam out of the almond milk I usually get in the pint-size, and I knew I couldn't use 1/2 a gallon in 7 days, so I got the Fage for my protein instead of the almond milk.  I love Greek yogurt, so I know I'll devour that by the end of the week, even if I'm only putting a little bit in my smoothies!


I decided to prep my strawberries because they were super-duper ripe and wasn't sure how long they would last.  Even though these are "green" smoothies, I just felt weird using the greenery on the strawberries, so I tore that off and halved or quartered the strawberries.  I used all of the strawberry, except for the few that had some soft/spoiled parts.


I divided the strawberries and put a cup in two different containers.  This way, I can just grab one for each day I'm using strawberries in my smoothie.  Then I sprinkled the strawberries with a few spoonfuls of sugar to help them keep over the next few days, and make that delicious strawberry juice.  Mmmm.



Next I prepped my lemons and limes.  The recipes I've used in the past called for the zest and the meat, but not the hard white stuff between the two.  So I went ahead and zested the fruits and will cut off the white part when I de-seed them to throw them in the blender.


Next, I went ahead and cut two bananas in half and froze them.  A few days, I'll probably use a whole, fresh banana, but some recipes call for 1/2 a banana, and the frozen part helps make it a thick consistency, so I decided to have both on hand.


Finally, I separated the spinach into 5 baggies so I could grab one each day.  Easy peasy lemon breezy!  


Finally, here is the prepped fruit all laid out in my fridge!  I'm so excited and can't wait for the week to begin.  I will most definitely keep you updated on my progress!


Next on my agenda today: cooking up some quinoa so I have my lunch for Monday and Tuesday, then I will be making my vlog!  I am participating in a vlogging link up party and I am so excited!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Next Week's Goal

I'm hoping if I write a post about my goal for next week, it will come to fruition.  So, fingers crossed, next week will be successful.

When I was writing my soap-box blog solely about weight-loss, I wrote a few posts about green smoothies.  I loved making green smoothies - they were so yummy and kept me full and healthy and I felt really good.  And, even though this isn't a focus for me now, I lost weight while I was drinking them.

One big reason I stopped making smoothies daily is I was tired of washing my blender every day.  For some reason, it just seemed overwhelming to me.  Also (and I know I'm an airhead), I didn't know that the blender came apart for easier washing.  How did I not know this?  The *whole* thing comes apart so you can scrub the blades.  This discovery did make my life much easier!

So, my goal for next week (and really, the next 5 weeks) is to drink a green smoothie every day.  I am starting a 5-week substitute teacher position and will have to be at school at 7 am every day.  I've been struggling to come up with a healthy breakfast that I can eat on the go and this seems to be a perfect fit.  Plus, it will help me get in my fruits and veggies every day because I've been struggling getting those daily requirements in.... thank goodness for pre-natal vitamins.  Also, they take like, 3 minutes to make and are super portable.  Last time, I used kale as my primary base; a few times I used parsley.  I have been on a huge spinach kick lately, so I plan to use baby spinach as my leafy green this go-round.  A bag of it is relatively cheap and it should last almost a whole week.

My goal for this weekend is to sit down and plan a week's worth of healthy smoothies, lunches, and snacks since it'll be like I have a real job again for a little while.  On Sunday, I'll go buy everything and prep what needs to be prepped.  That way, during the week, I can reach out and grab whatever I need to throw in the blender that day.

Hopefully, this will give my little nugget a surge of good vitamins and get me more healthy as I prep for motherhood.  I can't believe I'm almost at my halfway point.  So, next week, make sure you stay on top of me and ask me about my smoothies!  Make sure I'm being healthy.  What's good for mamma is good for baby, and I want to make sure my baby gets all kinds of goodness.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Penny Wise #2 - Love Everyone Cautiously

My original intent for this blog was to talk a lot about Penny.  I currently have several ideas jotted down and hanging out in my drafts folder, but I haven't been able to express myself the way I want to, so for the past six months or so, they are just sitting there.  I'm glad they are in cyberspace.... I'd hate to have something else to dust.

So I am finally venturing out and completing this post about one of the biggest things that Penny has taught me.... love everyone, but be cautious about.  I know I have mentioned this already, but I pretty much have the sweetest, most adorable hound dog on the planet.  She's very loving and has her smart moments (which might be slightly out-numbered by her hard-headed moment).  Penny loves people.  She will curl up in your lap and just begs for a belly scratch.  However, she's not an attention "whore".  When she meets someone new, she goes up to them, but them timidly backs away.  Then she'll get a little closer, then back away again.  She seems skittish, but it's a little dance she's worked out when she encounters people when we're taking a walk, or at the dog park, or when new people come to the house.  Advance, retreat.  Advance, retreat.

I typically tell people at the park when they try to pet her that she just likes to pretend to be shy.  But I think it's more than that.  When someone bends over to pet Penny, she wants them to pet her.  She's dying to be petted.  There's nothing she loves more than attention.  However, I've come to the conclusion that she doesn't want people to know she wants attention.  She wants to make people work for her love.  Plus, she wants to make sure they are actually true in their intentions of petting her.  She doesn't want to show her pure excitement.

I think that's a good life lesson for us to take note of.  I know when I was young and na├»ve, I would bare my soul immediately - to put it in dog terms, I would immediately run up to be petted.  I made my desire for attention well known.  As I get older and more comfortable with myself, I am much more hesitate to immediately intertwine my life with a stranger.  I'm a lot like Penny... I advance, usually with a friendly smile and a warm hello.  I don't retreat in a literal sense, but I typically just make small talk - I don't want this person to just have an open door into my life.  This dance continues until the small talk is not existant and I've developed a genuine friend.  It takes time and effort for friendships to really grow.

Sometimes this process takes a year.  Sometimes it takes a week.  Sometimes it's amazingly easy - other times, forming a friendship can be hard.  However, I think the most important thing Penny's advance/retreat dance shows me is to make sure that someone genuinely wants to be a friend before I bare my soul.  This is not to say that the friendship will be perfect if I follow this advice.  Sometimes the people we love the most can have traits that make them take us for granted or take advantage of us.  And we love them through all of it because we know they need us, or we need some part of them that makes the friendship work.  However, if you realize that you're constantly the one who does the calling, emailing, making plans, or sending smoke signals, take a note from Penny.  Advance, retreat.  Advance, retreat.  And if that person still has their hand down to pet you, it's probably the real thing.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

conGRADulations!

Today, I graduated with my M.Ed in Elementary Education!  It was a very exciting, albeit long, hot, and exhausting morning.  Here is a glimpse into my day.

First, I have to show you my graduation baby bump.  I will be 16 weeks tomorrow, so my bump is getting very round!  It's pretty cool that the Squido got to come to graduation with me!


Once we were all ready, my mom, husband, and I piled in the car and headed to campus.  I was worried about traffic, but we got there in record time and I was actually early.  So we decided to snap a few pictures before I had to line up so we didn't have to fight the crowds after the ceremony.


So then I had to go stand with all of the other graduates for over an hour before we finally got to process to the library plaza.  The processional took forever and then we had to sit in the hot, hot sun while all the special announcements were made and the speeches were made.  Our commencement speaker was Michelle Bachmann, so that was pretty neat.  Then, every person was charged, had their degrees conferred, and then walked across the stage.  Unfortunately, I couldn't make it the whole ceremony.  I made it through all the grad students, but I got super hot and super dizzy and my mom sent me a text that really encouraged me to get out of the sun, so I snuck away and we escaped before the masses fled.  I did have a headache for the rest of the afternoon, but overall it was a wonderful day!  Here are some more pictures of everything I just mention:

During the processional in to the plaza.

Commencement Address

Shaking hands with the Dean of the School of Education