Mamahood Styled


Christmas Detox

Christmas went a lot quicker than it came. This year was very different for me because I didn't spend it with my family from L.A. I struggled a lot with this and poor G had to be my biggest support through it all; poor guy... We grew up soo differently and our outlook on life is extremely different. We balance each other out really well through it all.

Today feels like my first official day off. Up until yesterday, we were in full Christmas mode: running errands, xmas shopping in two days, cleaning house, etc., as I'm positive everyone else was. Now that Christmas is over, I'm really looking forward to organizing our house and redecorating our living room. We did a great job with our bedroom and my closet but never fully finished it. I really need to focus on the living room and our office. G needs to focus on our home gym and his closet, too. I'm hoping to get everything done in the next three days although I really don't know how realistic that is; we'll see!

After all the craziness of Christmas, I realized that sometimes it's good to put yourself first. I was surprised by how many people we know seemed to be so wrapped up in the stress holidays can bring, that they completely missed what it's all really about. I was also shocked by the lack of appreciation that is expressed. I never, ever give to receive, but I, unfortunately, noticed that some forget to show gratitude or were just too busy to do so. No one needs a parade of 'thank you' banners but, heck, don't expect and don't make us feel like we're inconveniencing. Idk, perhaps we misinterpreted or everyone was so busy that it was obviously not intentional...I am obviously digressing. Anyway, today I took the advice of one of my homegrrls and decided I would have some "me" time. I laid in bed for as long as I could stand. I hung out online (lol). I worked out heavily. I made myself a healthy breakfast smoothie. Then I took a detox bath! I've never taken one before and it was pretty incredible. I blasted Sublime from my computer until it died then resorted to Sublime on Pandora on my phone. I realized I am not very good at relaxing but I forced myself to float there. My skin felt so soft. & I am one step closer to getting comfortable with relaxing.

[caption id="attachment_279" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="I <3 tutu's"][/caption]

I looked up some recipes prior to jumping in and then just picked and chose what sounded best. I didn't use any measurements that I found, just went with it and it was incredible.

Detox Bath

1. Fill your tub with hot hot water.

2. Add 1/2 cup of fresh grated ginger.

3. Add 1 cup (or more) of apple cider vinegar.

4. Soak for 30 minutes and [I read somewhere that the ACV is good for your hair so I dipped my head in for a little bit before] finishing off with a brown sugar scrub. Rinse and shower as usual. Enjoy your super soft skin and drink lots of H20!

When I made the brown sugar scrub, I did the same thing as I did with the detox bath- I found tons of recipes, and when I started actually doing it, I kinda did my own thing.

Super Easy Body Scrub Recipe

1. In a bowl, mix 1 cup of brown sugar, enough EVOO to reach your desired texture and consistency (if measuring is your thing, I would say 1/4 cup), some honey (about 2 tablespoons), some cinnamon (1 tbsp), some vanilla (1 tsp)  and a bit of sea salt (1 tsp). (I read somewhere that it acts as a natural preservative). Stir well and store in an airtight container.

*Technically, you can add/omit whatever you want. Scents, lemon- which I meant to add but forgot, etc.

It looks really pretty in a mason jar but I just put mine in a plastic tiny tupperware because I'm so clumsy, I could already see it dropping and shattering in my tub. I also read that it's not good to get water in it so when you scoop it out, use either dry hands and don't double-dip, or use something like a stirrer, spoon, etc.

It's almost 6pm and I'm typing this in bed, in a bathrobe. Learning to love myself more and attempting to relax. :]

I'll end my post with a reflection of my amazing blessings this last week:

1. Planning a bridal shower and bachelorette party for my dear friend, Kelly, who relocated to Iowa today :/  It doesn't seem real, at all. Talk about stress the week of Christmas while you're still working up to the day of the events. I had 48 hours to get it together and I honestly, loved the craziness and stress of it all. I work much better under pressure than when I have time. & albeit, wishing it was at a later date, I couldn't have been more honored to do this for her. She loved it and that's all that mattered to me! Love her so much!

[caption id="attachment_274" align="aligncenter" width="221" caption="Bridal Shower"][/caption]

2. That same day, my amazing Squirrel and her fabulous Sophia surprised me. I couldn't believe it. I swear, the handful of amazing friends I have are out of this world! They have gone above and beyond to make me feel loved, appreciate and plain ol' special. I couldn't believe that they changed their already paid flights to DRIVE from Austin, Texas, just so they could spend a day with me. It was absolutely priceless and amazing. I couldn't be happier and more blessed.

[caption id="attachment_277" align="aligncenter" width="221" caption="Hiking Telegraph Pass with Christmas Cheer"][/caption]

3. On Christmas Eve, we invited our dear friends over for Christmas dinner. It was such a fun evening. I cooked our traditional Puerto Rican dinner and even made Coquito for the first time. It tasted like it came straight off the island! I was so excited. They have a 2 year old son and it was hilarious fun to watch him enjoy and begin to understand Christmas. G and I felt beyond blessed having them there.

[caption id="attachment_275" align="aligncenter" width="221" caption="Coquito; Arroz con Habichuelas, tostones y aguacate!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_278" align="aligncenter" width="221" caption="The Cheatwoods & The Montgomerys"][/caption]

4. We have a lot of friends who have kids and even though we know it's not necessary, we absolutely love getting them gifts for Christmas. We got to witness so many of them open up their gifts from us, and their excitement made us so happy [Thank you, Becca for letting us spend special time with Ri & Aido on Christmas Eve; it meant a lot to us! <3]. I think a lot of has to do with the many times we didn't have much to open growing up (my sisters and I), that it gives me so much happiness to be able to give as an adult. & we love our friend's kids so much that it makes us happy and imagine what life with our own kids would be like. Thank you to all of our loved ones who thought of us during this holiday season! So sweet, and so thoughtful! <3

[caption id="attachment_276" align="aligncenter" width="221" caption="Girls' gifts; guy's gifts"][/caption]

5. Honey Munster's birthday is on December 25th. We had a stocking full of awesome goodies for her and we had SO much fun watching her go through everything. She literally stuck her head in her stocking and pulled out things and then would try to carry them in her mouth. She had a blast! We even got to take her to the dog park yesterday- well, Geoff did, I stood on the outside gate, lol- dogs still scare me!

[caption id="attachment_270" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Honey Munster is so rad!"][/caption]

6. Spending my first Christmas as a Montgomery. I volunteered to bring breakfast and everyone loved it- I was so relieved. It was just nice. I think my favorite memory this year was when we were having Christmas dinner at Gma Loy's and we kept telling stories back and forth and none of us could stop laughing. We all had tears in our eyes from so much laughter. It seriously was one of my favorite moments with my M family! <3

7. Two of our best friends got engaged right before Christmas. It was so amazing to see the joy that exuded E and B as they begin the next stage of their relationship. We couldn't feel more excited for them! Yay! <3

8. All the love from my family and friends. All the hugs, the thoughtfulness, the showing of gratitude, friendship, texts, phone calls...I suppose I'm just THAT easy to please. I love it all. <3

9. The fact that my husband is alive and well. Nothing at all beats that. <3

10. My life is full of blessings. Yes, times get tough and challenging, and some days are better than others but overall I have more blessings than sorrows everyday! :]

Lately, whenever I feel overwhelmed with issues/problems, I google or pinterest search "first world problems," and LAUGH at how hilarious I/we can be! A little perspective whips me back into shape! :]

Looking forward to reuniting with my L.A. familia this upcoming weekend for NYE! <3

[caption id="attachment_283" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="NYE 2009- This year Isa & Jake will be there!!! We'll be missing our Squirrel!!!"][/caption]

P.S. Did I mention that Jillian Michael's "Extreme Shred and Shed" is intense when you do both levels back to back?! Eek! I also heard that she is adopting a little girl at the beginning on 2012. So exciting! See? Blessings everywhere!


Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Slaw [Kirby- Homegrrl Guest Blog]

I absolutely love food and I absolutely love my friends! Sharing recipes is one of the coolest ways to combine these two awesome relationships! When Kirby told me she knew exactly what recipe she wanted to share, I was very intrigued. We have swapped dozens of recipes and tips over the years and always learn so much from each other! She told me that this was her husband's favorite and immediately I was hooked! Our husbands are also best friends and for almost all their lives shared similar eating habits. So, a recipe that had a guy hooked on leftovers [mine used to be super picky about eating leftovers, too], is one I cannot wait to try! & hello? Asian flavors?! Yes, please!! This sounds delicious and I cannot wait to try it! Let us know if YOU do!

I love Asian food as much as any other good little Japanese girl, but this dish is on regular rotation for a reason!  Not only is it cheap and SUPER easy to make, but my husband loves it for leftovers, and getting him to eat leftovers is an accomplishment in itself. I happen to like just about anything cold (going back to my "starving, so-broke-I'll-eat-anything days"), but my husband works outside all day and can't microwave his lunch.  This is one of just a handful of recipes I have that he will eat cold!! I happened to stumble upon this recipe one day while thumbing through the Arizona Republic newspaper. To give proper credit, it can be originally found on Epicurious.  Below is the original recipe, with healthy modifications that I have made in parenthesis. Enjoy!!

Your goal after reading this recipe!


1/4 cup soy sauce (I use regular, but you can use low sodium if you prefer)
5 Tbsp. Vegetable oil (I substitute 3 Tbsp of EVOO)
5 tsp. Peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove (to save time, I use the minced garlic in the jar)
1-1/2 lb. Flank steak (I use thin cut Sirloin Tip Steak or another similar cut - sometimes this is on sale for around $3.50 a package!!)
3 Tbsp. Sugar (I use 2 packets of Truvia sweetener)
3 Tbsp. Seasoned rice vinegar
2 red jalapenos, seeded, thinly sliced
5 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
3/4 cup chopped green onions
2 green scallions, cut into 1 in. Pieces

1. Mix soy sauce, oil, 3 tsp ginger, one scallion, and garlic in a gallon-sized plastic bag. Add flank steak, seal the bag and turn to coat.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, flipping occasionally. 

2. Stir sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. 

3. Add jalapenos and remaining 2 tsp. ginger. 

4. Place cabbage and 1/2 c. green onions in medium bowl.  Pour vinegar mixture over and toss to coat.  Let stand while grilling steak. 

5. Grill steak until cooked to desired doneness, anywhere between 3-6 minutes on each side.

(BEWARE: this steak cooks QUICK, and can be tough if over cooked.). Transfer steak to work surface, and allow to rest for 10 minutes, then thinly slice against the grain.

6. Toss the slaw again to evenly coat with the vinegar mixture. 

I like to serve it as a "rice bowl", starting with rice (substitute brown rice if you prefer), then the slaw, topped with the steak and some green onions for garnish.

1. If you are unfamiliar with ginger, consider reducing the amount of ginger on the recipe until you know for sure that you like it. It can be a very powerful flavor even in small doses.  I peel mine with a vegetable peeler, and then grate it using a lemon zester. 
2. I have found scallions to be non-existent at my regular grocery store, so I usually skip them...use extra green onions if you want.
3.  Only slice the top half of the cabbage head - the white, thick parts at the bottom are hard and can be bitter tasting.
4.  I have also never been able to find red jalapenos at the grocery store, so I use Anaheim Red Peppers, or for a spicier version, regular jalapenos (the slaw will just not be as colorful).



Healthy, Easy, Delicious.... Cookies!?! [Maritza: Homegrrl Guest Blog]

I love cookies. I love healthy, mindful foods. & I absolutely love my homegrrls. Which is why when Maritza (aka my Roomie) told me she was trying a new recipe she found for healthy cookies, I was beyond excited that she decided to make this her first guest appearance on my little ol' blog! I had this recipe pinned on Pinterest but like a dozen other recipes (like those energy balls and the healthy cookie dough with chickpeas(?!), I haven't gotten around to it; SO glad she did!!

Enjoy and let us know if you try it out!

As I stumbled across a recipe that read "healthy cookies" I couldn't resist but to feel a little curious and skeptical at the same time.  "Is there such a thing as a healthy and delicious cookie?" "Are they going to be too healthy that I'm going to end up just throwing them away?"- I asked myself. So, despite of my trepidations I decided to make them.  Which I'm glad I did! They were delicious, and will definitely be making them again.  Oh, and did I mention that these are way easy to make (always a plus, in my book!).  These cookies are considered to be healthy because they DON'T contain any sugar (crazy, I know), flour, eggs, or butter (pretty much all the good but not good for you stuff, I thought were always a must when making cookies).  By the way, I know these might not be the prettiest cookies you've seen but don't let that fool you.  

[caption id="attachment_243" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Delicious AND Healthy?! YES!"][/caption]

The ingredients:

1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup of almond meal
1/2 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped
1 cup dried fruit (I used 1/2 chopped dried dates, and 1/2 raisins)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I didn't have any allspice so I added 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinammon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg instead.  I'm also not a big fan of dates and didn't have mixed nuts so I substituted those with 1/4 a cup of dried cranberries, 1/4 a cup of cashews and a 1/4 cup of yogurt chips.  Lastly, I added 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal to it as well.  As you can see you can add whatever your little heart desires (remember try to keep it, healthy) ;).

Original Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almond meal, mixed nuts and coconut flakes. Stir in allspice and cinnamon. Add dried fruit and stir until well and evenly mixed. Make sure the dried fruit do not stick together in big batches.
In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined.


[caption id="attachment_244" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cookie Mix"][/caption]

Take medium size spoonfuls and place on parchment paper. Mine came out to about 16 cookies. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

And.....tada!!! You made yourself healthy cookies!  My favorite part was being able to eat a couple of them at a time without the guilt.  

Mmmm, can't wait to try these! If you're interested in being a Homegrrl/Homie Guest Blogger, let me know!

P.S. I've been on a roll making all kinds of crafts and recipes that I pin on Pinterest! So far this week: all my Secret Santa gifts were inspired and recreated in my own way; Butternut Squash Pasta was re-hashed- never thought we'd love it but we did(!), Parmesan & Panko Crusted Asparagus (followed exactly and absolutely loved it); guacamole salsa (edited recipe: yuuum); chicken enchilada with green chile/sour cream sauce!! Everything has been great!


My new To Do List

There are SO many things that I constantly think about that I REALLY want to do.

1. Have a Craft Party!

I think it would be SO much fun to have all my girlfriends come over and make STUFF! We're all pretty crafty and enjoy wine/crafting/socializing. So wouldn't that be fun?! I think YES! I'd have everyone bring old t-shirts and we'd make t-shirt scarves; I can teach them how to cut them up (no-sew) to repurpose them; or we can make headbands, or fun crafts to decorate our homes. I suppose we'd have to choose a specific thing to focus on so it'd be a bit more organized, though! But how fun would it be to make things like THIS:

felt flower scarf

Chalkboard Paint Wine

T-Shirt Scarf

T-shirt Headbands

& of course, a dozen other options...

2. Hair and Nails Did Night

How fun would it be to have a night where we all come with clean hair and nails and try out hairstyles on each other. Then do our nails...even do different eyeshadow try-outs?!

3. Accessories Swap Night

I got invited to one of these and although I didn't get a chance to attend, I would looove to host one! How awesome would it be trade all these accessories we all have that we don't use! I may be tired of certain pieces but be enamored with my friends'! Genius! Then we can end up like this and I'd be so happy! :)

4. Workout Motivation Group

I would REALLY love to get a group of friends together to workout. I think it would be SO much fun to have a group of 4 or more to workout everyday on a consistent basis. That way no one would slack off because [hopefully] there would always be someone motivated to do so! I looove working out in groups and getting everyone pumped up to push their limits. I see "trainers" at the park all the time and I always think I could do it and do a little more than what they're doing (I often see them just yelling and not moving from the tree trunk they are leaning against, haha!) We could also swap delicious healthy recipes and even indulgent ones (all in moderation is my key)! ;)

Homies never leave each other behind!

Too bad Crossfit is so expensive! We make up our own!


I have tons of more idea, as I'm sure my homegirls would, too! Now it's just hoping my friends would be as excited as I would to make these happen!

[P.S. None of these images are my own] 

Full...& Motivated?!

I just finished dinner and all I can think about is working out! I looked for Jillian Michael's new DVD while shopping today and didn't find it at Target. I think I may just go out to see if Wal-mart has it. If they don't, it's going in my Amazon shopping cart tonight, lol!

Extreme Shed & Shred

When I first read about it, I didn't have any intentions of buying it. Mainly because it's only two workouts and they're each 45 minutes. No, thanks! I like my workouts intense but quick! But I was reading reviews yesterday and it sounds like SO much fun. Even more fun is that JM challenges everyone to do them back-to-back...I love myself a challenge! So off I go to see if it's a possibility for me!

I was able to go shopping after work to start on Christmas shopping. I called my girlfriend and asked if I could take my godchildren with me! I let the boys choose a toy each. They had a really good time. We were in my "magic" car as they call it, and LMFAO's "Sexy and I know it" came on. Cash yells, "It's MY soooong!" hahaha! Awesome! "wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!!!" Such fun times. They were SO good, too! The hardest part was getting them in and out of their car seats multiple times!


Baby Jack & Cash playing on the "big ball" at Target!

I wish all my friends would let me borrow their kiddos! I also wish my nieces and nephews were here because I'd be the best Titi ever and they would be spoiled rotten! Miss them every single day...

I got to go birthday shopping for my little homegrrl, Rian, whose birthday party is this weekend. Harajuku Mini for Target is SO cute. I found the CUTEST hoodie but they didn't have her size! :/ So I settled for a cute plaid hat and a sweet dress for a pair of fringe boots she already has. I was so excited and when G saw them, he was shocked by the size. Oops! Maybe I didn't do such a good job of sizing them! I was with boys! haha! I also managed to find a super cure winter skirt in the girl's section....for a huskier girl, though! Got some online Christmas shopping done, too! Making sure all my little homegrrls and homeboys are covered!

Work was really good today. It was really good last week, too! & I don't want to jump the gun and assume the same thing for the next few days, but I'm hoping it remains this way! I have still managed to not repeat a single outfit. My goal of Thanksgiving has been extended to Christmas break. I can probably keep going but what about my one piece outfits, like dresses? I have too many that I'd really like to wear again. Would it count if I wore completely different shoes and accessories? Hmmm, who knows...actually, who cares! I love blogging about meaningless things like this! Puts my amazing life into perspective!


Black booties & Chevron Striped Tights: LOVE!


Secret Santa Crafting

I started working on this week's secret santa gifts! I loooove participating in these; so fun! My co-worker is a teacher so I really wanted to make her a crayon initial craft I, of course, saw on Pinterest!


She also loves popcorn, like I do, so I made her "popcorn in a jar," using popcorn kernels, popcorn toppings (apple cinnamon and chocolate marsmallow), and two vintage popcorn bags (I have tons leftover from our wedding)! It came out so cute! I hope she loves 'em!

all the supplies

all packaged up!

I already know what I want to do for two more of her gifts but I'm a bit stuck on one more! We'll see! :]

Christmas Spirit

I feel like I'm going through the motions of Christmas without feeling much of anything. I have no idea why but I seem to have misplaced my Christmas spirit. Sad...I think it may have to do with this being my first year not going home to L.A. for the holidays. G and I always figure out a way to split our Christmas between both families, despite the fact that they are a state away. Christmas for me, is one the 24th, whereas for him, it's on the 25th. I can't imagine cooking, dancing, having so much fun without my small family. Midnight won't be the same... :/ If we had children it'd be easier to make our own little traditions BUT as we always do, we'll try and make the best of everything.

For now, I am searching for my spirit. One of the ways I like doing this is by giving back. Volunteering is one of the best things I can do. This weekend was the Help Portrait event, in which families get to get their hair and make up done and get a free portrait by a professional photographer. Seeing all these families come into the Boys and Girls Club to take (for a lot of them), their very first family portrait was beyond incredible. I, personally, had our first family portrait taken at our wedding early this year! When we were raising our teenage sister, we always made sure to take her to serve food during the holidays. The first time she was annoyed that we had to wake up so early and stand in the cold to help, but by the end of the day, she was asking for our next event. When I was growong up, we often didn't have money for gifts so we would be on the opposite side of charity events. I want to spend my life giving back as much as possible. I wish I could just invite all my family, friends and their kids to volunteer to give back. How amazing would that be?!

I haven't done any Christmas shopping this year, probably part of my missing spirit...  I always go all out at Christmas and absolutely loooove giving gifts! I get so much satisfaction from finding or making the perfect gift from me to a loved one! Geoff always tells me I go overboard and never likes when I keep giving when it's not reciprocated. But seriously, who cares?! If you give to receive, are you really giving with generous and true intentions? Not in my opinion...anyway! I'm digressing! Lol!

Speaking of gifts, I want to make some awesome crafts from Pinterest! I have a Secret Santa at work and can't wait to make her gifts! But I have to get started on it tonight and I didn't find anything at the store earlier so now I'm left to creativity at home!

This is our first year together with a real xmas tree! Of course, it's all gold, rose gold, and copper lol! We topped it sith Geoff's gold maneki neko instead of a star this year. Maybe once our lights are on outside and I get some gifts under the tree it'll feel more like Xmas? Or maybe, and better yet, once I experience the true meaning of this season...:)

Top of our Christmas tree with G's Maneki Neko atop; G's parents gave us a new ornament for our first Xmas as a married couple! <3


My ivory/cream booties! Wish the tops weren't so wide!


Friday Accesorizing

Fridays are the culmination of most work weeks and the commencement of weekends of freedom! Lately, they have been yet another day to continue our ridiculous schedules. Our schedules hardly ever match up and our weekends are full tasks, projects and errands. Relaxation is sometimes incorporated but often not. Lots of laughter and wine is though (usually)! ;)

I woke up late this morning (again!) and had to rush out of the door to make it to work on time! I love that my job has casual Fridays because I feel that I work faster and easier in jeans and Vans/Chucks/Toms, rather than my usual professional attire. Despite that, I absolutely love accessorizing. I love wearing things in my hair (flowers, headbands, scarves, braids, pomps,etc); and 99% of the time I wearing earrings, a necklace, a ring and a bracelet. I feel like something missing without them, haha!

My new closet is amazing (for me) and so organized that it makes it soo easy to get ready in the mornings. I'm in love with it!

Today, in my rush, I went for what's become one the easiest and fastest hairstyles for my hair. It's kinda like a half-french braid (one on each side to frame my face). I am not great at french braids but the way I do this one makes me feel like I can do it if I really try! You start a regular braid on the side of your head and each time pick up/add more hair to the strand that is closest to your face. It creates this awesome braid that looks like a crown headband, haha! I don't know to explain it! Sometimes I just wear it on one side and poof up the other side; today I did it on the other side, as well!


I wore my hardware necklace with a silver/turquoise ring and my beloved fork necklace from Brasil! I <3 accessories!


I have to work tomorrow, boo but yay to making that dollar!
Let's see what the rest of the weekend brings us!



I woke up this morning freezing! The temperature was in the mid 30s! That's way too cold for this California girl! I think it's time to turn on the heater before we go to bed and turn it off when we wake up! Geoff even came home from work wearing his scarf yesterday! I was excited to finally wear one of he gazillion scarves I own! I woke up late so I didn't get a chance to look up one of pins on Pinterest that shows a bunch of different ways on how to wear a scarf! I've been sooo into beiges, gold, rose gold, coppers since our wedding early this year; Geoff has been saying he needs to hide the gold spray paint from me because our house is becoming more and more gold! Lol! I chose an ivory and gold striped pashmina I bought in Argentina this past summer!
Yay for scarves even though I don't enjoy being very cold!


Unfortunately, the details of my pashmina cannot be seen once this picture is uploaded for some reason. But it's so pretty, light, and has sparkly lines of gold. Love it! I have really light dimples in this picture, I just noticed, too!


Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Sometimes we are extremely organized with our meals and those weeks are amazing! Other times, like this week, organized isn't even in our vocabulary. Our house becomes a mess, our schedules hardly enable any time for each other, and our work interferes with any personal or social time! Weeks like these resort to quick stops on our way home to grab fast food or whatever is more convenient. This week is one of those weeks but since I went grocery shopping during the weekend, I've been attempting to cook as much as possible. So on Monday while still at work, I started rummaging our fridge (in my mind); I remembered we had whole wheat pizza crust from Trader Joe's that Marlyna had brought us from L.A. If we didn't use it, it'd go to waste. So pizza it is! I ran to the grocery store and grabbed a rotisserie chicken and came home. My intentions were to make homemade chicken alfredo pizza! Yum! But once I got home I had to improvise because I didn't have all the ingredients for the sauce. So I rummaged through the fridge and found an unopened jar of Red Hot's BBQ sauce and voila! We ended up with one of the most delicious pizzas ever made in our kitchen!


-whole wheat pizza dough or any homemade or prepackaged dough
-1 cup chicken breast, shredded
-1 1/4 cups (or so) of Red Hot's BBQ sauce (we loved the spiciness of this one but you can use any you like).
-1/2 cup cilantro (or as much as you like)
-1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-1-1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (mozarella or colby jack
-1 handful of feta cheese
-1/2 cup of greek (kalamata) olives, sliced or diced

1. Let your pizza dough rise for about 30 minutes. (I put a bottle of wine in the freezer and worked out to keep me preoccupied). Unless you have dough that doesn't need this step. Preheat oven to 450•F.
2. Stretch your dough into shape you want it (I pretty much am amateur at this, I need a lot more practice in kneading and stretching with my fists!) place your dough on a pizza stone or baking dish and cook the dough for about 6 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, mix your shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, and cilantro.
4. Once you take out your precooked dough, spread garlic onto the crust circumference. Then add your chicken/cilantro/BBQ spread. Add olives.
5. Add cheese over the top. Feta cheese on top.
6. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly is slightly browned. Cut and serve!

Soo easy and sooo delicious! Reheated leftovers were even better! So this would make a great make-ahead dish!


Mason Jar Salads

Lunch at my workplace is somewhat convenient but not at all healthy. I have been working for almost three and a half months there and have eaten their lunch maybe 3 times at the absolute most. Salads are considered to be a concoction of iceberg lettuce, shredded cheese, croutons, and bacon bits, with a heaping side of ranch! Yes, years ago this would have sounded so "healthy" to me, and now I cringe at the thought of it! I truly feel that when it comes to nutrition, I know my stuff really, really well. I feel that my friends around me think I'm the healthiest eater and don't enjoy going out to eat with me or coming over to eat. I have been explicitly told that my food is "too healthy" to "really eat, eat!" I laugh because I know that in most of our minds, that's the way we think. We're so addicted to highly processed foods full of additives and chemicals that literally trigger satisfactory sensors in our brain that make us feel satiated. It took me a bit to change my eating habits and even now I struggle A LOT with binging. I've always have had the appetite of a grown man- and sometimes I eat (and can drink) more than a lot of men I know. Ask my husband and the 4 grown men I have lunch with every single day at work! haha! Because of my heavy appetite and rushed schedule, I eat a lot- and rather quickly. My goals are always to eat slower and pace myself. It's so hard!! Anyway, I really pride myself in all my cooking- super healthy or super indulgent- and think that it's pretty damn good, haha! If I can change my husband's mind on nutrition, I feel that I can motivate pretty much anyone as long as they are committed. He used to hate veggies and pretty much anything "healthy." If he didn't have his meat and cheese everyday, he was grumpy and unsatisfied. Now, he craves greens and orders only the cheese- true story! We still absolutely indulge and enjoy fast food, junk food, and all things meaty/cheesy; if you ask anyone who knows me well, they know to keep Spicy Doritos away from me because I can finish a family bag in one sitting. Add a Coke from a can and I melt. Even worse, nachos is probably my favorite cheat food in the world....however, we love leading healthy lifestyles that include regular exercise and nutrition.

I am currently a few days away from my first (and probably only) half marathon. I have been training with my girlfriend since the summer. We definitely have overtrained and are really over running at this point. I also need an MRI for my hip area as I have a strain or tear that has spread from my hip --> groin--> quad-->knee. Running is not enjoyable when I only have a full stride on one leg and the other kinda drags! :/ I saw a chiropractor and a Physical Therapist. The former said one leg is shorter than the other and my hip muscles can't compensate for it so they tense up too much. The PT said it was a tear/strain and I should immediately stop running. Well, that's not an option for me, so I continue through the pain and hopefully I'll reach my goal. I want to come in at 1:59 for my 13.1 mile run! The most and fastest I've ran was last weekend: 10.7 miles at 1:34. I'm almost there- just hope my leg, mind, and weather changes cooperate. I've been training in AZ's extreme heat- and my half is in SD by the beach! haha! AND it's supposed to rain- yay! Except not, because I don't like rain (see my wedding day)!

Anyway, back to food! I was on Pinterest a few weeks ago and found this link to an awesome idea: salads in a vacuum sealed jar! I thought it was amazing but don't own a vacuum sealer for food. A few days later, I ran into a pin doing the same thing with mason jars! We have a ton of jars at home that we collect and drink out of (G's mom & gma have given us a bunch over the years and we love keeping them; his gma keeps ones from food, too) but hardly any have jars. I kept some lettuce in one that had a lid, after seeing the post and the next day it seemed just as crispy. So away we went. Geoff left to the grocery store and bought a dozen 32 oz. mason jars (ours were a lot smaller), and all the fixings for salads! We're on our second week of doing them and are loving it so much. Everyone at both of our jobs is so impressed and two of the guys are talking about doing it too (I work mainly with men, lol). We made one for one of G's coworkers who also wanted to try it, too! Another girlfriend of ours started the same week we did and absolutely loved it!

Week Two's Jars

The main "trick or tip" to it is to made sure that your greens are away from your dressing. & to truly make it healthy, you have to be careful what you add to your salad, including the dressing. We have made mainly our own (balsamic + EVOO- extra virgin olive oil) or sometimes just use lemon.

I don't follow recipes at all, just go with whatever we have on hand. However, our regular salads are pretty typical for us now and we layer them the same way:

-dressing (approx. 2 tablespoons- you don't need a lot)


-beans (pinto, black, or whatever you like)



-mushrooms/olives/cauliflower/bell peppers or broccoli

-romaine lettuce


-slice of lemon on top!

They're SO versatile!

We also love our take on Greek salads:

-balsamic dressing

-hominy/garbanzo beans




-feta cheese



We have also done strawberry salads and pomegranate salads:


-pomegranate seeds or strawberries


-feta cheese

-tons of spinach

SO yum!

It's so simple and you can't go wrong. Think about what veggies you have on hand and which ones you love to typically eat. For example, this week we decided we'd love hard-boiled egg in them so we did! We also were craving some chicken so we bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded some of the breast into the salad that I first posted about! It just really depends on your tastes! You can see the layering in this picture a bit clearer!

Mason Jar Salad Detail  (from Week 1)


*These salads are pretty huge! The more you pack in the most you'll have- I have a huge appetite so I take these down like nothing. But you can pack less, shake it all up in the jar and have your salad like that, too!

*Also, these keep in your refrigerator about a week! We actually had one for almost a week and a half and it kept great!

*Pre-wash your produce before using it! Makes it SO much easier when you use it!

*Here is a basic list of veggies to help you get started [but remember to start with the things you already like! It's YOUR salad:

*romaine lettuce; spinach; bell peppers; tomatoes; carrots; cucumbers; feta cheese; mushrooms; eggs; [chicken, if you're inclined]; cauliflower; broccoli; strawberries/tangerines/pomegranates and canned beans- pinto/black/white/kidney/etc. [make sure you drain them...rinse for less sodium]! We find that beans make us not miss any meats in our salads!

*Be CAREFUL when shopping for pre made dressings- read your labels- check for sugar, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil, sodium, carbs and calories. We use balsamic vinegar with extra virgin olive oil and infuse it with the juice from sweet fruit. The last thing you want is to THINK you're eating healthy, only to realize that your salad is loaded with up to/more than 1000 calories! :/

*I also saw someone using smaller mason jars to make their own yogurt parfaits. That will be my next one! Fresh chopped fruit at the bottom of a mason jar, greek yogurt in the middle, and homemade granola on top! Yum! I currently make my own oatmeal packets every Sunday night so that I have them ready to go every week! In a ziplock bag I put half a cup of oatmeal, a couple of tablespoons of flaxseed and one of cinnamon. In the mornings, I throw it all in the microwave for 2 minutes with a cup of almond milk. While it's cooking, I chop up whatever fruit we have on hand and take it with me for breakfast! It's filling, gets my metabolism going, and is so nutritious! I also pack snacks for during the day when I get hungry. I have oatmeal for breakfast, a snack, my mason jar salad, a snack, workout, eat dinner, then have another snack, if I'm tempted to do so!

*I also only drink water most of the day- a lot of it, too! There is such a thing as drinking TOO much water, but my body is used to it. When I first moved to AZ, the most I could drink is a water bottle a week- yes, A WEEK! Now I drink over a gallon a! & mainly through a straw! I carry my reusable Starbucks venti everywhere I go!

*ENJOY your cheat days! I have the type of personality that obsesses over things that I can't have! haha! So if I deny myself from what I really want, I am not happy and it becomes all I think about! Of course, I say all things in moderation, but being the binger that I am- I have had a muffin two nights in a row and a 1/4 of the cake both nights, as well. I'm going to freeze one for after this weekend though! lol!

This has been my #1 craving! My husband spoils me!

*and finally, look at the fast food you love and try to recreate it at home. It's almost a guarantee that if you really put effort into it, you can enjoy it without having to consume major fat/calories. Tonight, we made nachos. Our version that is actually pretty freakin healthy and pretty freakin delicious! :]

"Guiltless Blue Corn Chips," pinto beans, homemade green salsa, fresh tomatoes, remainder of rotisserie chicken breast, bit of avocado, and a teeny amount of cheese!




As I sit in this dark, quiet corner of my oversized couch, I can only hear the tick tock of G's maneki neko. Every swipe of its arm reminds me of how fast life passes me by. Every now and then, the constant ticking takes a halted yet unexpected break- as if gasping for air or a second of relaxation. Yet the speed picks up as quickly as it left off and on it continues, making note of each second that passes by. I look up and see his assorted collection of these Japanese cats adorning the top of that piece of furniture. The gold one glistens in the corner, as the sliver of light from the hallway reflects on its shiny metal-flake exterior. As its squeaky arm waves back and forth, I notice it is not the one with the bigger stance making the loudest noise- it is the meek, small, white one that seems to fill the room with its loud presence. Life is happening right now.

Today is one of those days where I feel like I'm constantly [more often than not], waiting on everyone else. Whether it's at work, waiting for students to settle down so I can teach the next word or phrase; at practice, waiting for my runners to get back so we can continue forth; at home, waiting for my husband to finally come home; waiting on calls from the contractors to tell us when and/or if our house will ever get repaired; socially, to find out how I can include myself in friends' lives; or waiting on a call back from family members...just waiting.

Waiting would be great if I wasn't so impatient. However, I am one of the most impatient people I know. A virtue at times, as it has enabled me to set goals and steadily approach the marks of accomplishment. Yet, other times my impatience renders ineffective. It surfaces frustration and the inability to cohesively put my life together. In haste, I can scapegoat and exclaim that if it wasn't for somebody else, I'd have everything I need or want completed. Albeit, that being true half of the time, the other half belongs only to me. No one can claim it nor can I dispose of it on someone else's conscience.

This idea of time ticking me by, and my impatience being a constant variable in the equation of my life creates a conundrum. I am able to conquer so much in my life...notwithstanding I do not have the ability to enjoy and relax. Relaxation is limited, as there is a constant tick tocking in my mind that constantly reminds me of the unremitting list of tasks at hand.

My recently developed challenge in life is finding an equilibrium I most certainly yearn for in my life. The people-pleaser in me constantly devotes any amount of free time to visiting those I cherish that I do not get to spend time with due to everyday obligations. I am a yes person and constantly acquire new duties to add to my professional role. The times for just myself are rare...extremely rare. I have unfortunately also noticed that the times that I am sought for have steadily depleted, as well. I strive to be better, yet often fail. Despite the constant falls, I know I must keep going. I may not be the shiny, gold cat that has such a presence, however, I refuse to give up my voice for personal renewal and strength.

As life passes by, I want to soar in its greatness and relax in its existence; rather than pondering the next obstacle to conquer without ever just...breathing it all in.


Cross Country and Beyond

This weekend has wrapped up quickly. I suppose there's still one full day left of it and I am trying to make a conscious effort to stop viewing Sundays as the end of my weekend. Instead, I want to start feeling as Sunday is my day to re-energize by doing limited activities! This weekend may or may not include that! My house remains a mess...I am SO uncomfortable being home right now. I cannot stand everything being so disorganized. :/ But enough about that, as I do not want to focus on the stuff that does not need to consume the limited space in my mind for worries! :]

This weekend, we had our biggest invitational for CC- in Huntington Beach, CA. There were 85 schools competing and over 4,400 students. AMAZING! It was the longest meet yet and the one with nicest weather, as well. Talk about lucking out in SoCal weather! It was such a gorgeous day! My weekend with my kiddos started Friday at noon and lasted until late tonight. There's something so amazingly awesome about going out of town with such great teenagers- so much bonding, understanding and insights take place that leave one in awe in reflection and retrospect. I love learning new antics, experiences and personality traits that make my kiddos who they are. I love being a coach! It's such a rewarding experience! No matter how they perform, nothing beats teaching and motivating another human being to push themselves, believe in themselves, and find inner strength beyond preset expectations. It is an unworldly experience to see those who trust you, believe in themselves to push their mental and physical strength to the limits and beyond.


I felt especially proud to be competing in Southern California, my first love. Seeing high schools that I competed against when I was in my secondary education phase was nostalgic and exciting. Even more so, was seeing parts of me there. In other words, my CC kiddos were all wearing our new team shirts. The super rad part was that not only were we easily identifiable as a team, but SO many other teams paid us compliments. I couldn't help but feel pride and a sense of accomplishment, as I designed our shirts this year, and my wonderful husband created the designs for us. Another one bites the dust! So rad. I also got tons of compliments on my new Vans- compliments to the same awesome guy- via my own Cinnamon designs. :)

My running partner & Mirror, Bre and I, really enjoyed out trip this weekend! Not only did we get to further bond with our team, but we also got to do some shopping (hello, my faved H&M & UO); rock waterfall braids; get my homecoming dress (I was going for a gold sequin dress I saw on Pinterest, but it was not to any avail- but found a cute black sequined alternative I'm hoping to be able to rock well); & still make it back home for a celebratory night of Cuba Libres and Darts! <3

waterfall braid




A trip to SoCal cannot be complimented better than a trip to Yogurtland- especially when Pumpkin froyo is being offered with breast cancer awareness ribbons!

A special and absolutely HUGE thank you to my Roomie, Mritz, who went above and beyond to find me among 4,400+ people to visit me for literally 10 minutes max, in between a long drive and a wedding! What an amazing, beautiful soul you are!!! <3 Thank you for making me feel so loved and special!!!!

My Is & BBB- I KNOW you were there in spirit and I am 10000000% sure of that!! <3

While I enjoyed working in SoCal, my husband took a road trip to NorCal to an awards ceremony. He was a finalist in a media award competition against major cities and states on this side of the U.S....Absolutely amazing! What a talented guy I married! He deserves all the recognition in the world for his hard work and dedication! <3 But he's not due to be home for another 24 hours and I couldn't be missing him more. Being home when it's a mess and you're lonely, makes one feel like a mess. I don't like it! Bahhumbug!










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