Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quick and Easy Dinner Idea

I'm short on time these days and big into wraps as an easy all in one meal. Last night I put together a dinner that was somewhat healthy, and really easy to do.

Chinese Wraps

Your favorite Chinese food dish (I had shrimp with vegetables) from your local take out place

1 order rice from a Chinese food restaurant or pre-cooked frozen rice (at either Trader Joe's or Whole Foods) - brown or white rice will work just fine

12" Low Carb High Fiber tortillas

Cook rice (if you have the frozen variety)

Heat tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds to ensure it doesn't break when rolling it

add a layer of rice to the tortilla, then a layer of your favorite chinese food dish

roll up and eat


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Balancing Act

I have 2 kids. One is 3 years old, one is 8 months old. I work full time. Every day is a balancing act of trying to give them what they need; love, attention, food and clothing and also tending to some needs of my own; coffee, work, workouts, sleep, laundry, cooking and little bits of down time.

Lately it's been a bit crazy and I feel frayed, sensitive and exhausted. I am trying to find the humor in changing clothes in the car in parking lots as I go from Dr.'s appointment to work. Breaking a sweat trying to get my wiggly 8 month old dressed in the mornings. Doing as my knee Dr tells me and swimming for exercise, but then being told by the ankle Dr that I can't swim because it makes me ankle feel worse. Working to potty train a 3 year old while also having to work a good chunk of the weekend (thanks Steve for stepping up to the plate this past weekend, I know it wasn't fun).

I did do one thing right and 'outsourced' Abby's birthday party to a local kids gym. That was smart thinking and I really think she is going to have a great time (we've taken her for two trials runs to classes at the gym and she loved them).

Is this normal with two small kids in the house? Does it get easier over time? Will I get 8 hours of continuous sleep in a single night someday?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sugar - Winning the Battle and the War

My attempt to give up sugar is just that, an attempt. A lousy one at that. I have been curled up on the couch with chocolate and ice cream. I let my body think it's stress relief is tied eating sweets. It all started about 9 years ago when I had a pretty bad 6 month stretch of events.

The highlights (or rather low lights) were my father having open heart surgery, a tracheotomy and ultimately passing away. I also dealt with a knee injury which was followed by knee surgery, a very difficult recovery and realizing I would probably never get to do the one thing I grew to love, running. Also thrown in there was dealing with panic attacks, switching jobs and being over committed with volunteer work. There was a bright spot during this time. I met the man who became my husband. He stood by me through all of this and is still with me and supportive today.

All of these things are behind me, but the sugar trigger remains.

I have 9 years of bad habits to undo. I need to figure out how to retrain my mind. I'm not going to give up on my quest to eliminate/greatly reduce my sugar intake, I just know it's going to take some time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Giving Up Sugar

It's time to break my sugar addiction.

Plagued with jet lag this week after a 6 day trip to India, I was up late last night reading a book on how to stop sugar addiction. The book is "Beat Sugar Addiction Now!" by Jacob Teitelbaum MD and Chrystle Fielder.

I've known for a while my sugar addiction is a problem. I let the everyday stresses of life get to me; 2 small kids, full time job, high maintenance dog, keeping everyone fed, healthy and at the right place at the right time. I've gradually packed on the pounds over the past few years. It's time for change. I know my weight is a direct correlation to the amount of sweets I eat. I let myself believe treats are okay on days that have been particularly stressful. There are more of those than not these days.

Today is day 1 of the sugar purge. So far so good. I'm to expect some moodiness and irritability. My husband may ask how that is different than other days (poor guy), but I hope it's not too bad. Drinking water is key, to cleanse myself of the elevated sugar levels in my body...

I'm going to stock up on vegetables, fresh fruit, lean meats and proteins, low sugar yogurt, cheese, etc.. I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners so I'll have to be creative with some of my food choices. If I'm true to my goals, I'll track my progress here. If sugar wins, I won't write anything about my progress because I'll be snuggled up with a chocolate bar and a bowl of ice cream somewhere.

Monday, July 12, 2010

10,000+ miles from home

And exhausted.....

I'm in Bangalore India on a business trip. The time difference is 12.5 hours ahead from the SF bay area. I'm wiped, my body doesn't know what to do and when sleep wise.

This is my 4th trip in 5 years. I do love coming here. We work with a team of employees here that supports the work my US team does. It's very valuable coming here and building in-person working relationships. We spend a lot of time with our teams here over the phone and on IM on a day to day basis. Making the effort (it's a 22 hour journey) to come here and spend time with them is extremely valuable.

The days are long, 11 hours of meetings yesterday after only 4.5 hours of sleep in the prior 48 hour period. I was hopeful I would sleep on the plane. Not having anyone demanding anything of me was eerily unsettling and I just couldn't quite my mind. I also drank more wine and champagne that I should have, the red wine from Portugal was just too tasty.

I will try to take some pictures of my experience here and post in a couple of days. It's inspiring and disheartening at the same time. There is a considerable amount of poverty here, right in your face. The India people are fantastic hosts, very giving of their time away from their families when we descend on them for a week.

The hotel is one of the best I've stayed in here and the staff is very accommodating. Me and my sometimes over opinionated self was mentioning the sub par hair dryer while at breakfast in the hotel yesterday. Someone from the hotel must have overheard me. When I got back to my room last night, there was a fabulous full power hair dryer with a hand written note for me. I felt bad, but at least it won't take me 45 minutes to dry my hair today.

An added benefit of being here is seeing old friends. I am lucky to spend time with the US based and India based teams I used to work with. Very smart and very kind people. Lots of laughs will be had...

I can't wait to get home and see my girls though! I miss them terribly and very happy for current cell phone technology. I'm able to get real time updates and pictures of them, I love it!!! Emily had carrots for the first time yesterday and I received pictures of her eating them, yeah!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Abby 3, Big Girl Bed 3

The score is even. Big Girl bed has closed the gap and we are on our way to permanent big girl bed status. Go Abby, we are sooo proud of you!

Abby was probably wondering why she didn't get a 'treat' today for her all nighter in the big girl bed. It has everything to do with the fact that work got out of control yesterday for your mommy and she barely got a chance to pee and eat lunch, let alone get up from her desk and go somewhere and buy you a treat. Next time she hits the toy store, she will stockpile treats for these such occasions.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Abby 3, Big Girl Bed 1

Yep, that's the score... So far Abby is ahead but I think we are closing the gap.

Saturday we decided to move Abby to a big girl bed. We were going to let her choose when she was going to make the big move, but an upcoming vacation is forcing us to accelerate this. We were going to rent a crib on vacation, but with the latest crib recalls, there is no way I'm renting one.

Saturday morning we moved her room around, installed a bed rail and made a really big deal about it. No nap on Saturday, it was all too exciting for her.

Saturday night, Abby was all set to sleep in her big girl bed. That is until she was finished with stories. She looked at her crib and said 'I want to sleep in my crib'. Daddy gave in.

Sunday nap time came around. I was tired so took this as a selfish opportunity for me to nap. I laid down next to Abby in her big girl bed and she tossed and turned, kept asking me what I was doing, put her hands on my face, put her face against mine, got on her knees and bounced on her bed, etc... Not the quiet time I was hoping for. After 90 minutes I put her in her crib, left her room and took 2 Advil. She didn't nap.

Sunday evening, I wasn't hopeful this was going to go well, but it did. I think she was tired and that worked to our advantage. I decided lay down with her again. It worked. Within 5 minutes she was asleep. After 10 more minutes I got up and left her to slumber. We weren't hopeful she was going to stay asleep, but not one peep from her all night. Not a sound, nothing! I couldn't believe it!

I don't typically wake her up in the morning, but I wanted to get to her first and make a big deal about her sleeping in her bed all night. She was so proud of herself and we were even more proud of her. She has been carrying her new My Little Pony around all day. It was her 'treat' for being such a big girl and sleeping so peacefully in her big girl bed all night.

Why is it that our children grow up so fast? She's no longer in a crib, and will likely never be in one again. She's a big girl, with big girl responsibilities sleeping in such a big bed. And it's big, it's full size instead of a twin.

Next up, potty training. Any tips or tricks?

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I am pathetic blogger. I had high hopes of sharing my stories, wisdom, laughs and failures with my loyal followers (all 1 of you, thanks April for sticking with me). Many times while working, or trying to sleep I come up with all of these wonderful things I should write about. When I finally get a chance to sit at my computer and write, I feel that what I have to say isn't all that important. BUT, then I read other blogs and it's amazing how many useful tidbits and life lessons I learn. I will try to average more than 2 posts a months, that's my goal. If it become 2.5, then I'll consider myself successful. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Favorite Pot Roast Recipe

I've been trying a handful of Pot Roast recipes lately and I always go back to the one from Giada De Laurentis. It is the right amount of tender beef, complex broth/wine based flavor with mushrooms and a very yummy sauce (made from the broth/wine/mushrooms). This Pot Roast smells amazing while it cooks and is the perfect recipe to make on the weekend or when I end up working from home. It takes a while to cook, but the results are delicious and worth the wait...

I usually buy the chuck roast from Costco and use a tasty red wine (cheap wine cheapens the taste of the roast). I've also substituted fresh, more common mushrooms for the porcini's.

Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms - Giada De Laurentis

Enjoy and let me know if you like it as much as I do!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Abby's Valentines

While once again reading through various blogs, I came across this wonderful idea for a little Valentine gift at Twig and Thistle.. It's an image printed on a paper bag and you can put brownies or other treats in the bags.

I ordered the bags, with the intent of making treats for our friends and neighbors. Then we received a notice from Abby's preschool that said we could bring in 22 Valentines for her classmates. I had already ordered the little bags and sought out to find something a little more juvenile.

A simple document in MS Word was created, with a great font (Catchup) and some clip art. I filled the bags with Annie's Organic Fruit Snacks and tied them with a little ribbon. Once I figured out the best way to feed the bags in the printer, it didn't take long to get everything assembled. I hope Abby and her friends at school love them.

Here's what I came up with...

The Annie's snacks I used (found them at Costco)...

Friday, January 29, 2010

My New Favorite Cookbook - Pioneer Woman Cooks

I was clicking through blogs one day while the newest addition to our family was sleeping. I didn't have the energy to do laundry, pick up toys or anything else of the manual labor variety. I was reading blogs, clicking through here and there until I came across a post referencing the cookbook "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl", by Ree Drummond.

I also stumbled upon the author's blog. A great read on a daily basis!

So far I've made only a couple things in the cookbook and bookmarked some additional recipes on her blog as well. The recipes have turned out wonderfully. The beans (my 2 year old loved these) and the cube steak sandwiches. Next up is the chicken spaghetti and maybe even the biscuits and gravy.

This is real food. Not the 50 ingredient, make trips to 5 specialty stores to get everything you need cookbook. It's the type of food my Dad grew up eating and made for us.

Also included in the cookbook are stories about the author's life. These are also very entertaining.

I can't wait to try more recipes!

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Fairies - Come Here Fairies"

With all of my brilliant parental wisdom, I pulled off the ultimate nap crime yesterday...

We are big on sleep in our house, at least for the little ones. Steve and I aren't sleeping much these days, but that may have something to do with the 5 week old in the house.

Before Abby's nap time yesterday, I read her the book 'Ten Tiny Fairies'. The last page in the book has a picture of a little girl sleeping with visions of the Ten Tiny Fairies in her dreams. In great hopes that Abby would nap, I told her "If you close your eyes and nap, you'll see fairies". BIG MISTAKE. For over 90 minutes I heard her yelling "Fairies, come here fairies", followed every once in a while with "mommy, I need my wings". Needless to say, there was no nap yesterday....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Baby Emily (aka 'Baby Sister')

Emily joined our family on Dec 21st. She has been a true blessing, is very sweet, seems mellow and is pretty happy sleeping most of the day.

Big Sister Abby is thrilled to have a 'Baby Sister'. For a few months leading up to Emily's arrival, the wonderful woman who takes care of Abby during the week along with Steve and I, prepped Abby for 'Baby Sister's' arrival. 'Baby Sister, coming soon', was Abby's phrase of choice. Now that 'Baby Sister' is home, it's changed to 'Baby Sister is here'. Yes Abby, 'Baby Sister' is here!!

I used to think people who said their family was complete when they had the last of the children they planned on having, were a little too sentimental. I understand what that means now. With our two precious daughters, our dog Murphy and each other, I join the ranks of the sentimental and feel we can start really planning a future together as a complete family (Disneyland, here we come).