Monday, May 30, 2016

In Honor Of My 34th Birthday 34 Things You May Or May Not Know About Me

1. I collected troll dolls when I was younger
2.        My next BIG goal is to buy a house and land with cash!
3.       I want to tour Ireland on my next overseas vacation (next year hopefully)
4.       I had a blanket when I was little (umm, ok until after college) named Baboose.
5.       If flip-flops were considered year-round appropriate footwear, I would wear them every day and at every occasion.
6.       I have broken my left arm twice and within a year of each other.
7.       I never make my bed, it’s a waste of time.
8.       My 2nd favorite wild animal is penguins…they are so graceful in the water!  I love going to a museum and just watching them for hours…but it smells in there.
9.       Chore I hate the most-laundry!  I would rather buy new clothes than do laundry.  True story.
10.   My dream car-a huge RV to travel North America in!  I would need to save $$ first though or have a job that I can take anywhere.
11.   I have an obsession with words that sound the same but are spelled and mean different things (homophone).  I want to make a huge list one day and I even mentally add it to that future list when I figure out another one.  (ex. Witch/which, so/sew, dear/deer, roll/role, week/weak, etc.)
12.   My middle name is Diann and I’m not 100% sure how to spell it.  I usually spell it line Diann but it could be Diane, I have no idea!  No one questions it on official forms and I don’t know where my birth certificate is.
13.   Two of my sister’s middle names rhyme with mine.  Laura’s is Deann and Bridgette’s is Leann, again, I don’t know the spelling of theirs either!
14.   I have about 10 craft projects I have started recently that I need to finish.  There is an entire craft tub under my bed of supplies of started projects.
15.   If I could live anywhere I would live close to a water source. I love the sound of water running or waves hitting the shore.  I would love to just sit outside each morning and eat breakfast and have my quiet time in nature before starting the day.
16.   My goal is to start a business where I can work from home all day and create my own schedule. BUT I will need to figure out how to keep myself accountable to actually work during that time!
17.   If I had a million dollars the first thing I would buy is a house with land.  I would love to have a family retreat!
18.   Favorite Quote:  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver.


19.   If I could start any business it would be a weight loss or health retreat on land!  I would offer yoga and workout classes, long hikes, trainers, healthy food, massages, self-esteem classes, how to grocery shop and look at labels, etc.  It wouldn’t be overly expensive like some retreats; just an average price for “normal” people with normal incomes can come learn something to better themselves.
20.   My biggest pet peeve is flaky people.  Do what you say you are going to do.
21.   I am afraid of losing weight and then gaining it back again.  I had to run a marathon to lose 50 lbs and I am scared of having to do that again.  What if I meet someone while I am skinnier but then gain it all back? 
22.   My house/apartment/room is always messy but I hate it when other people’s houses are messy and I just want to clean up all day.   I don’t care if mine is messy but I will (secretly) judge you if yours is and mentally clean it if I can’t physically clean it. LOL.
23.   My favorite color rotates between purple and pink.  My school color is purple (in my favorite shade!) but I didn’t go there because of that.
24.   I am very excited about going to Harry Potter land in December after my cruise!
25.   I love dirty martini’s with extra olive juice.  My favorite vodka in them is Tito’s.
26.   However, I am not a big drinker so when I go out I usually get a club soda with grenadine.  People think it’s a cocktail and no one questions how.
27.   I helped start a designated driver program in college that has given over 28,000 rides to date.
28.   I am a middle child and sometimes act like Jan Brady. :)
29.   My favorites flower used to be tulips but now I am leaning more toward peonies.
30.   My all-time favorite movie is Troop Beverly Hills but a very close 2nd is Iron Jawed Angels that is based on the woman’s suffrage movement.
31.   I love shopping at thrift stores!  There is nothing better than getting a designer item for $5.
32.   Strawberry is my favorite flavored anything!  Cherry is  a close 2nd.  Banana and grape are a no-go zone.
33.   My favorite class in college was astronomy.  I love gazing at the stars all night.

34.   My dream job would be to travel around the world, writing about the bucket list items I do, the interesting people I meet and the scenery I see.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Paddle Board Yoga Class

A few weeks ago I went to a paddle board yoga class at 288 Lake with Big SUP Yoga.  Have you ever paddle boarded?  It looks a lot like a surf board, but it is a bit different.  Some places allow you to paddle around but this class was specifically for a yoga class.  Yes, I did fall in…twice!

I woke up to very dark skies but there wasn’t a class cancellation email so I went anyway.  I met my friend and former co-worker, Savannah there. We got there and it was so cold!  Well, not that cold but colder than it usually is at this time of year.  They said the class was still on as long as it wasn’t lightening, but if they did have to cancel it, we could just reschedule.   As we were learning the moves of the paddle board it started to POUR down rain.  Luckily, we were inside under a garage but we all looked at each other like we were crazy. HA! 


After the mini how-to lesson the rain had let up and we all got in the water and paddle boarded over to the area of the lake that we were having the class.  When we all got situated the sun came out and it was beautiful for the rest of the day!  I thought it was going to be cloudy so I didn’t add sunscreen and got a sunburn!  Note to self, add sunscreen no matter what!

We did the standard poses and then (attempted) the harder ones.  Some of the people in the class were able to do all of the moves!  I tried most of them but  a few were way out of my comfort zone.  I tried one and fell in.  After that I was kind of afraid to fall again, even though it’s just water!  5 out of 8 of us fell in.  Savannah did great and didn’t fall in once!  Rockstar. When you fall in everyone claps for you. 

You have a calming session (don’t know what it’s called) at the end where you just lay down and listen to the wind, birds, water and nature for a few minutes.  Totally peaceful.


It was an awesome class and would highly recommend it!!

Afterwards me and Savannah went to the new shopping center area at Baybrook Mall.  They have an outdoor movie theater with a big screen!  

We went to Yard House and I had the best Mushroom Lettuce Wraps!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Look at my plants!   Look at my soil! :)

I started a garden!  There was an old garden in the back yard that was run over by weeds but I cleaned it up and made a fun place for veggies to grow.  I am SO EXCITED!!!!  I decided to only plant vegetables that I love so I wouldn’t have waste.   The garden is 8 feet by 4 feet.


Over grown garden before. I got quite a workout cleaning this up and quite a sunburn.
That is a snake and bug paradise!  Not anymore!
 


I removed all of the weeds...there were A LOT!
 
Old railroad ties that were removed.
I planted Cucumbers (3), Okra (3), Eggplant (3), Cilantro (2), and Red Pepper (1). 


Then, every garden needs a mascot so I invited these two to live in my vegetable paradise.  These flamingos are Mae and Henry!  Mae has sequins as wings and Henry has glitter.  Beautiful.
 
New wood and soil!
Last but not least, I got a new hat.  Yes, the purpose of gardening is ONLY to have cute accessories, wouldn’t you agree.




Have a great day!  Eat ‘yo veggies.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mesh Vegetable Bags

Do you know those thin plastic bags that you put your fruits and vegetables in at the grocery store?  I hate just throwing those away when I am done but they are hard to reuse.  I looked on Amazon and found some mesh bags that are lightweight to put my produce in.  If they get dirty I just throw them in the washing machine and I can use them again and again!

They come in a pack of 5 or 6 and I love them (I think it is 6 but this pic is only for 5 so I'm not sure where my other one is!)!  I actually need more because I buy so many veggies now that I am plant based



I really like how they have a bungie type cord that helps close the bag.


They are breathable and safe for your veggies to be stored in, plus they are better for the environment.  
I spy broccoli and carrots (among other veggies)!

Here is a link (not an affiliate link) to them.

Why I Went Plant Based

I mentioned a few posts ago that I went plant based with my diet recently and I love it!  I have lost a bit of weight, my mood is stable, I feel better, I have more energy, etc.  I thought I would see some benefits but not as many as I have had!

I started a whole foods, plant based blog over at But…What About Protein?  I want to keep this blog for my travel, bucket list, and other random things that I write about here so there won’t be too much plant based journey stuff here.  BUT, check out my new blog if you are interested in yummy recipes that are good for you and full of veggies.
My new blog header! Blog in progress. 


Don’t worry, I will NEVER become one of those crazy vegan people who throw blood on peoples fur coats or other fabrics. I don’t ever want to be one of those people.  Who has the right to destroy other people’s stuff?

I have always said “I’m not a good cook” because I have literally given myself food poisoning multiple times.  But I was thinking, I don’t want to say “I can’t” in life a lot.  There is a difference between saying “I’m not very good at XYZ but I am trying my hardest to get better” and “I suck at cooking so I will just eat out. Haha.”    Because I have said the latter statement too many times to count.  I know that there will be things that I don’t know how to do or that I might not be good at, but I can take steps to make it better if I choose to.  (Some things I’m not very good at and have no interest in getting better at).

I have been cooking more of my own food lately and I have been enjoying it.  I downloaded the free app called PodCast Addict and listen to podcasts while cooking (and while on my commute each morning).  There are free podcasts on almost any subject you want to hear about (both plant based and not). 

I listen to these podcasts:
Meal Mentor (interview based on whole foods, plant based meals and living)
Tim Ferriss Show (various interviews with celebrities, business people and other random people.  There are 3 I recommend so far:  Jamie Foxx, Jocko the Navy Seal and Derek Sievers)
Pioneering Today (how to homestead and do things around the house)-her voice and annoying an annoying valley girl voice though plus she says “umm” a lot.
Jocko Podcast (I downloaded a few episodes but I haven’t listened to it yet.  His interview as amazing when I heard him on the Tim Ferris podcast.  He has a leadership business so I downloaded it)
Food For Thought (interview format on random food related topics)
No Meat Athlete (various running/vegan related topics are discussed with occasional interviews)
Smart Passive Income (If you are interested in starting an online website/business/blog, check it out)
The Modern Homesteading (about homesteading topics)


If you are interested in trying out a Plant Based diet, let me know OR you can watch “Forks Over Knives” (available for free on Netflix).  I am happy to answer questions if I know the answer! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dave’s Killer Bread

I had read about how bad different types of bread are for you because of the ingredients and preservatives they put in them but I never found one that tasted great but was great for you.  That is, until I heard about Dave.


Dave’s Killer Bread can be found at various local store including Sprouts, Whole Foods, HEB, Kroger, Costco, etc.  (go here to find a store near you).  It is either in the refrigerated bread section, or the regular bread section (not the frozen section).  It is healthy, nutritious and uses whole grains. 

Tip:  If the ingredients say “enriched” flour, don’t eat it!  That is sneaky because “enriched” sounds good, but it isn’t!


Another thing I love about Dave’s Killer Bread is that they have a 2nd chance program for ex-convicts.  About 30% of their workforce are former inmates that they have given a 2nd chance to.  I am not sure if you know but a lot of convicts go in at a young age and change while incarcerated and go on to be model citizens after release.  (Not everyone, but enough for them to be given a 2nd chance)

Just like with any opportunity, some seize it and others throw it away.  Luckily, Dave’s doesn’t judge the “good ones” from the “bad ones”, everyone gets a chance. 


Isn’t that neat?  You get an awesome product that is great for you and then you get to help out the community.  Win-Win.


(This is NOT a paid post.  I just wanted to share an awesome bread and an awesome program)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Escape the Room Houston

For my friend Savannah’s birthday a group of us went to Escape the Room Houston and tried escaping the “Rec Room”.   They have 3 rooms total (Rec Room, The Apartment, and Mission Control) and are building a few more soon.  Savannah chose the Rec Room because the she had already done the Apartment and the Mission Control was booked (or so it was too science-y??). 


Anyway, the Rec Room was basically an 80’s themed basement type area and all the clues were pertaining to the 80’s.  There were padlocks on the wall and you had to figure out what clues led to what answer with the combination.  I don’t want to give away much more just in case you decide to do it, but there is more to it than just padlocks.  You can use your cell phone for the clues but no pictures.

We did not make it out.  We were stuck on the last clue and we almost had it but we didn’t make it in time.  One of the girls in the group thought about the answer but thought “Nah, that wouldn’t be it”.  So ALWAYS just trust yourself to say even the silliest of things you think are the answers because in our case, it was the right answer.

We lost.




                                                                   

Friday, April 29, 2016

Vegan Cupcakes

I have a bit of a sweet tooth.  I can resist cookies and a lot of other deserts but anything having to do with cake or cupcakes, all will power goes out the window.  Luckily they make vegan cupcakes at Sprinkles!!




The strawberry ones are what I REALLY wanted…oh how I love strawberry anything!




 BUT, they weren’t vegan so I got Red Velvet.  Normally I don’t like red velvet, but this one was surprisingly good.  I am going to try and bake some vegan goodies soon!  Look!  They even have a little V and everything!  The icing was sooooooo good.  I think I like icing more than the cake part. :)


Friday, April 15, 2016

Best sandwich ever!

 So I didn’t mention that on April 1st I adopted a plant based, whole foods diet.  I watched the documentary Forks over Knives on Netflix and was hooked.  I watched it a few years ago and was intrigued, but I couldn’t see myself giving up cheese.  I heart cheese way too much to give it up.

Or so I thought. I made the decision on Saturday and started (with a little cheating) on Monday but went “all out” on April 1st.  I will admit that my sister, bro-in-law and his aunt are all doing it too so I am not completely alone.

I did a few things that have helped me stay more focused.  I downloaded vegan podcasts, followed vegan people on Instagram, meal plan and bought a monthly meal plan to Meal Mentor.   Meal prepping/planning is the key, especially if you commute 2 hours each day to and from work.  If I wake up late (which is actually happening less now that I have more energy) I do not want to make something before I go to work, I like to grab and go.  I can eat breakfast at my desk and just stick the rest of my food in the fridge until lunch or snack time.  If I don’t have something prepared I just go out to eat, which I can 100% make food choices that fit in the diet but they don’t always fit in the budget.

One of the times I went out was to Leibman’s.  it is a local deli and fine foods/gifts store that I have loved for a while.  They have the best dips and I always go there to pick something up when I go to a party.  Now, I have to find another dip that works because I used to get caviar and cream cheese dip that everyone loved! 

Anyway, the deli has 3 vegetarian options that can be made vegan/plant based by tweaking it.  I made the sandwich at home have eaten it all week.

I used Dave’s Killer Bread, arugula, thinly sliced tomato, thinly sliced cucumber, walnuts (for crunch), avocado, onion sprouts and balsamic vinegar.  SO GOOD!!!  You can make this sandwich even if you aren’t plant based; I know I would have loved it if I wasn’t plant based.

(BTW, sorry, I took pictures with my phone as I was making the sandwich for work...hence the tupperware container)

Sunshine Crunch Sandwich

Add the arugula (I have fallen in love with a green)


Add the cucumber



Add the tomato


Add chopped walnuts

Add thinly sliced avocado


Add the sprouts.


Add the balsamic vinegar when you are ready to eat it.  I like to cut mine into triangles.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Who will you be waiting for?

Have you ever thought of who will be waiting for you when you get to Heaven?  Your family members?  Your friends?  Your mentors? 



I heard this phrase the other day, “who will YOU be waiting for”?  Who have you mentored in life or led to Christ that will one day be in Heaven?  Isn’t that a neat thought?  Can you just imagine that the people you have poured into will one day sing praise to Jesus with you in Heaven?

We always think about the people who have done so much for us but really, we need to think about what we can do for others.  It just gives me chills thinking about it.  Jesus had a life of servitude towards others and called us to do it too.  It shouldn’t be “what can you do for me” it SHOULD be “what can I do to help you”.

Even if someone goes to Heaven before you, wouldn’t it be cool to know that you played a hand in helping them get there?  I mean, they did the legwork (along with Jesus), but you played a part.  Who will you be rooting on from Heaven?  I want to be at those gates greeting people all the time!  I wonder if they have a bell or a paging service that when someone you knows is coming up, you greet them! 


When you get up there will you hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” or will you hear something else?