Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Beautiful

I just found this amazing video.  I cried watching them.  My goal is to be able to do this at Christmastime. 



Friday, June 3, 2016

Playing in the Rain

It’s raining in Houston!  I went to my parents’ house on Wednesday night to see my aunt who is in town and my nephews who were staying over and almost didn’t make it over there.  It took 2 ½ hours to get home and I almost flooded out.  My parents live off a major road and have about 4 entrances to the subdivision.  The main entrance was so flooded that even trucks couldn’t get through; one side entrance was blocked by the street so I couldn’t even make it to the entrance.

I went to the last one and saw water but I wasn’t sure how deep it was.  There was a guy backing out in an SUV so I watched him to see how deep the water was, but even after he made it safely I wasn’t 100% sure my little car could make it.  The guy said I could make it if I went slow but I think I had a look of doubt on my face.  He said “I wouldn’t send you if it wasn’t ok, I promise” so I took his word for it and went slowly….and made it!!  Yay!  I was safely inside the neighborhood, or so I thought because there were about 5 more puddles that I had to make it through before I weaved my way around to my parents’ house.   Luckily none of them were as deep as the first one so I got there ok.  Whew!

I got to my parents’ house and saw my mom and sister (my dad is/was out of town) both outside soaking wet doing something in the backyard.  Apparently the pool was not draining because of blockage to the pipe so they were out there in the pouring rain trying to clear a path for all of the water to drain.  Luckily they were able to get it clear and no water got in the house.  It really wasn’t close to being flooded but with the rain coming down so hard and a blockage, it could have risen quickly.
 
One side of the neighborhood (not the main entrance)
This has never happened before to their neighborhood or really the area that they live in but there is a theory floating around in all of Houston about the City taking bribes from contractors to develop areas but the contractors are not planning for proper drainage.  The water has nowhere to go and this is the 2nd year in a row that random houses that have never before in history flooded.  I heard today that there was a class action lawsuit pending.   Crazy!

We had three kids to entertain in the rain and we had originally had planned on going swimming, but we couldn’t do that. :/   BUT we did the next best thing, play in the rain! 


Let me tell ya’…it was SO COLD!  We all got clothes on (the kids got their suits on) and were splashing in puddles in the street.  At first my sister (who used to be fun btw) was being crabby and wouldn’t let my niece go, but then she decided she wanted to go so she let my niece go.  The neighbors were laughing at us and said that it looked like fun.  It was getting cold and it started lightening so we went inside, but all in all we were out there for about 20 minutes.  That’s longer than it seems!


My aunt decided to stay at my grandparents’ house so I went through all of that water for nothing!  Well, not nothing, I got to see my family and play in the rain. :)
 
No one else wanted their picture taken!
Later, when I was all warm, dry and toasty while watching Sponge Bob (yuck!) with the kids, my Mom calls my grandma and she said her house was about to flood!  The water was trapped in the backyard and the water was seeping into the house via the screen in porch.  My mom freaked out and we all got in the car.  My mom panics in these types of situations.  Usually I sort of do too, but I was able to keep level headed and gather supplies to bail out water if necessary.  All my mom said was “Grandmother’s house is flooding” and proceeded to freak out and get the kids together.  I didn’t really know if that meant the water was right there or if it was about to be so I just grabbed some hard plastic and medal stuff like coolers and pots in case we needed to lift up furniture (I couldn’t find milk crates!) and bail out water.

On the way over there we had to go a few different routes because we couldn’t get through, even with the huge truck that we were in.  We even saw an Expedition flipped over in a pool of water.  Craziness!  We made it to Grandmother’s and figured out how the water was trapped and that we could move a board in the fence to make the water drain.  Within a few minutes the water had receded by a few inches and was draining very quickly.  When we first got there it was up to my shin!  The house next door is vacant but we went ahead and did the same thing for their fence too so that house wouldn’t flood.  All of their water was flowing into Grandmother’s yard anyway it just made sense to clear a board for them too.  Hopefully there house wasn’t flooded before we got there!

We got home about 10:30 pm and I pretty much fell right to sleep since I had to go to work the next morning.  I woke up to get dressed but it was still raining.  I drove to the front of the neighborhood to see if I was still blocked in and I was.  I let work know that I was blocked in and told them that I would try again in the afternoon.  By noon the water had receded enough to let me through but it was about to get bad again (per the weatherman) and I didn’t want to get stuck somewhere just in case so I just took the entire day off.


That’s my flood story!  Hopefully everyone is ok! 

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 New Garden

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. :)