Friday, December 28, 2012

Kitchen Adventures- The Quest For Clean

Lately I've been in a home improvement mood. It could be because I'm now single and so I can't have a honey-do list anymore OR it could be because I'm realizing all the things I put on hold because I was too busy being gone every weekend. The jury is still out on this.

Whatever the reason, I have until January 2nd off and I decided to do some cleaning. My living room doesn't really have any problems other than needing a good coat of colored paint but I live in an apartment and I'd have to permission. It's just a big mess. Once I get a new TV though, I'll probably re-arrange some things.

The next rooms in my apartment are my kitchen and dining/office area. My kitchen is fairly organized. There are things I would like to change but I do not have the monetary means to do so yet. Have I mentioned I LOVE tax return season? Getting back on track, I decided to tackle my kitchen today.

If you know me well or have listen to me talk about my apartment, you know that I hate my electric stove/oven. The stove part is really okay but it's the oven I hate. This thing burns everything! I have to set the temperature down to 200 degree no matter what I'm cooking and it still get's too hot. Needless to say, I do not do a whole lot of baking. I do cook a lot though. This left my stove top really nasty.

First I unplugged the burners and put the drip pans in hot water is some cleanser.
I let those sit while I cleaned the rest of the stove. I still had to scrub them forever just to get them to look semi clean. I'm going to end up getting some actual over/stove top cleaner when I can so they look like new. Until then, they are at least grime free.

The next part was to clean under the stove top. I had to lift the stove top up and unbelievably, it stays up by itself! I did not know that. This is what it looked like before I scrubbed it.
Before Scrubbing
I used Dawn dish soap to scrub everything. I've found that Dawn actually does cut a lot of the grease on things. Again, I want to use some actual cleaner but that will probably have to be for Spring cleaning. This is what the stove looked like after scrubbing.
After Scrubbing

I'll spare you the details of cleaning the panel of my stove but all you have to do is take the knobs off, use some spray cleaning and wipe everything down. I then put everything back together. Here is the finished product.
It's not perfect but it looks A LOT better than it did before I started. I still have more to do in my kitchen and I need to move things out so I can sweep and mop the floors really well. Until next time!


Monday, December 10, 2012

All By Myself

It's been an interesting few days. In addition to trying to write a 20 page paper, Ryan and I ended our relationship. Don't worry, I'm fine. Our relationship hadn't been healthy for awhile. We still love each other and will probably be friends but our lives are heading in two different directions. I'm really just going to take this time to focus on finishing school and doing what I need to do to continue to lose this weight. I figure come swimsuit season, I'll be hot and sexy and all the guys will want me. ;)

In other news, I battled a great evil today. Ants. It's not the big ones that actually bite, but the little tiny annoying ones that you just find everywhere. I think I figured out where they came in but it had to be the hardest spot...the ceiling. Now, I'm tall but I'm not a giant. So I have to call a friend for a step ladder so I could actually get the little bastards. On the bright side, my kitchen is spotless. I am however, terrified that they will come back.

If you ever have to deal with ants, my number one suggestion is to spray the hell out of them! Then vacuum those suckers up. I probably should of done that instead of trying to find a step ladder, but my OCD made me want to wash the walls.

My next project is to clean my ceiling fan blades. They be nasty.

So yes, I'm going to be fine. If you would like to however take me out for iced tea, I won't object.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Adventure Onward! 2 Months

2 Months = 8 Weeks = 60 Days = 1,460 Hours = 87,658 Minuets

November 21st (tomorrow) marks my two month post-op date. To be honest, it really doesn't seem like it's been two months. With everything that has gone on, it feels more like 6 months but without the benefit of more food.

On the bright side, I've lost 44 pounds. Not as much as I thought I would have lost at this point but apparently my body is stubborn and wants to hold onto the fat. Silly body. Your resistance is futile.

This month will also bring my first major food holiday since my surgery. I feel prepared. I already know I won't have any starches so rolls, stuffing, and mashed potatoes are out. My mom said we're having turkey instead of ham so I will be drowning that bird in gravy because turkey also tastes dry to me. I will also be having green bean casserole (my favorite), olives, and sweet pickles. Overall, I think I'll be just fine. I have my measuring cups at the ready and there's always left overs. I do not know what I'm going to do about dessert. I've never been a big sweets person but I love Pumpkin pie. So maybe like 1/2 of a tiny piece?

In other news, Ryan and I will be celebrating our 6 year anniversary next month. We've been together longer than most of my friends who are married have been with their spouses. And that's including dating time. I think I've finally gotten to a point where I'm okay with not being married yet. I mean, we're both in school and I'm the only one with a full time job. The only one with any job really. There is no possible way that we would be able to manage a household on one income with both of us in school full time. I can barely manage my household.

Getting away from my point, 6 years!! We had some bumps at the beginning of the year but I think we've really grown this year. We've worked on a lot of things. Mostly things that I really had to work on myself but we are doing a lot better. Not perfect, but relationships never are. Needless to say I'm extremely happy and so in love.

Ryan has always been there for me. Not matter what has been going on, I can count on him when I need him. I mean, he drove from Riverside to Victorville when I had to put Elvis down. I mean, who else would do that?? He's also been my main support through this who recovery. During the week that we has here after my surgery, he slept on the couch so that I could be comfortable in the bed. He's also been extremely patient with my healing process and makes sure that I'm eating what I'm supposed to and that I get enough exercise in.

I just cannot even begin to imagine where I would be without him and I can't wait to see where the next year takes us.

Until next time...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Adventure Onward! Week 6

40 pounds! That's right, I've lost 40 pounds so far. Going into week 6 of this journey I'm feeling pretty well. I can eat actual food and for the first time in 2 months, my refrigerator has food in it.

I haven't been at this point for long though. For the past week and half I've been seriously sick. At first it was just dealing with regularity issues but then one of my lovely students decided to bring a flu bug into my office. As if I didn't have enough to deal with, I caught the stupid bug.

I was sooo sick. Everything the stomach flu is was amplified since my stomach is so tiny. I had 2 Urgent Care visits within one week for dehydration. I still have the bruises to prove it. The only thing I could keep down was decaffeinated Green Tea. No joke.

I also missed almost an entire week of work. Which with no sick or vacation time, means my paycheck is going to be very small. I'm thankful that I'm getting one but it's going to take some awesome budgeting on my part in order to stretch things to the next one.

But, I am better now and the sickness is behind me. Now I can get my focus back onto work, school, and my nutrition.

In other news, I went to the Apple Valley Sundevil Classic last night. If you don't know what that is, it's a big Marching Band Competition back up in the desert. I am such a band geek. A friend of mine from band came and we sat there and critiqued all of the bands. Amberly, David, and the bug showed up too. A great time was had by all. 

The exciting thing that happened though was I was able to talk with my old band director from high school as his band was competing there. So after talking to him, he's going to give me a call this week so that I come help out at the competitions his band is hosting over the next two weekends. Talk about excited!! I'm going to be able to sit up in the box with the judges and see all the shows. 10 bands the first weekend and up to 50 bands the second weekend for championships!!

I know this isn't much of an update but when you're sick for almost 2 weeks, there's not much to tell. Until next time...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Adeventure Onward! Week 3

It has bee three weeks since my surgery. Overall I'm doing really well. As of last Sunday (10/7), I've lost a total of 26 pounds. I won't know how much I've lost this week until tomorrow (Sunday). I've had to commit myself to only weighing once a week because it's so hard to either not see the scale more or for it to move up on a daily basis. So why torture myself?

Everyone keeps asking me what I can eat right now and how much. Up until I reach one month, everything I eat needs to be about the consistency of apple sauce or I have to chew it like 60 times before I swallow it. Here's the list of things added at the one week post-op:

Cheese- Any kind except cream cheese because of the fat content

Yogurt (plain or unflavored) I've cheated on this because mt Greek yogurt is vanilla flavored but I haven't had any problems.

Scrambled eggs only.

Baked or grilled fish- YUCK. This is something that I am NOT eating.

Canned tuna or salmon- Double YUCK.

Mashed potatoes- I love these!!

Cream of wheat- never been a big fan but I have Malt-o-Meal so that's helpful.

Vegetarian re-fried beans- also one of my favorites.

Apple sauce-sugar free of course.

I'm supposed to eat 3-4 times a day and include 50-60 grams of protein shakes in addition to my food. Only 2 ounces at a time unless I'm drinking my meal which is when I need to make sure I'm making it last about 45min.

I don't really have a feeling of being hungry unless I haven't eaten in awhile. I do get thirsty a lot. You will probably see me now with a water bottle attached to my hand. The only craving I have right now is vegetables. Mostly tomatoes and cucumbers.

I guess the most excited news of this week was the fact that I got to back to work. I was so ready by the end of week two to be out of my apartment and back in the office. Crazy right? I had a pretty relaxing week. After everyone told me how crazy it was while I was gone, I was expecting a huge pile of work waiting for me. Other than the almost 600 emails, it was pretty light. Advising however starts in 2 weeks so I'm getting ready for that and making sure that I have everything else done before the students start pouring in.

The other event was actually kinda scary. I woke up Thursday feeling terrible. It hurt to eat or drink anything. Even liquid was kind of hard. I stayed home from work knowing I wouldn't get paid since all my sick and vacation time is gone.

I had a school meeting at Redlands so I had to drag myself out of bed to go to that. Do you know how hard it is to sit in a meeting for over an hour feeling like you want to curl into a ball and die? PLUS having your classmates look at you like you're about to burst into tears right there? Well, I do.

After the meeting I called my doctor's office who then directed me to his nurse who could give me more information. I'm in tears on the phone because I don't know what's going on and my mom of course is freaking out telling me I need to go to the hospital because that's what they said right when I got out of the hospital. I would prefer to NOT sit in the emergency room for 3 hours for them to tell me nothing is wrong. (I'm pretty sure half of my cohort saw me crying on the way to my car that afternoon. Oh well.) Anyway, the nurse call me back, asks me a few questions, and says it's constipation. Really?! Something that simple. Believe me when I say that I felt like an idiot. Here I thought something went wrong and I screwed something up and it ended up being something so easily fixed.

One shot of Milk of Magnesia later and I was able to sleep for the rest of the day. Needless to say, I'm fine now. Sorry for the details but it is my blog so suck it up.

Since I don't want to leave you with something icky, I do have really good news. With the cooler weather, I had to get some new pants. Obviously I won't be wearing them long but I needed something to get through the next month or so. I am happy to announce that I was able to comfortably fit in a smaller size of pants at the store! I've only dropped one pant size but after being in one size for so long, this is amazing. I bought 2 pairs of pants and I look hot in them. My mom has pants of mine in the next size down so I won't be back at the store probably until spring where I'll need to buy even smaller clothes. I'm so excited!!

Until next time, Have a good weekend!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Adventure Onward!

It's been a week since my surgery. 
I'm doing really well actually. I'm learning how much is too much and when I need more protein because I haven't had enough yet. I've also lost 20 pounds from the weight that I was right before surgery. 
My weight loss slowed down when I came home but I think that's because I started to actually eat after I got home from the hospital.

Right now, my focus is on getting my strength back and getting enough protein into my diet.
According to what my doctor gave me, I can do soft foods in addition to all the liquid stuff I had before. This means I get to start eating refried beans, eggs, cheese, and.....tuna.

Now, if you've known me for awhile, you know that I do not like any type of sea food. But even I cannot deny the protein benefits of fish. So, I'm starting very small. I'm going to be trying some and doctor it up so I hopefully don't get that fishy taste but getting that protein that I need.

I have a huge journey still ahead of me. As I can start adding more and more food to my diet, I have to be even more careful that I'm only eating the amount that I'm supposed to so as to not give my self discomfort or to stretch out my new pouch.

I'm looking forward to the changes that are coming. All the love and prayers that I've been getting have been amazing and I cannot thank everyone enough. I still have another week off to heal though and Ryan won't be here so it will be a real test to see how well I'm going to do on my own.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast

 I'm making it for the second time tonight so I'm really hoping it came out as good as it did the first time.
 (This is not mine but it's the closest to what it looks like when I cook it.)

Seeing as I am only one person, it's hard to find crock pot recipes that are specifically made for one person and only have one serving. Honestly, I would probably be spending a lot more money on groceries if it worked like that. This recipe, if following the directions online, will yield 12 servings.

The last time I made this, it lasted me for the rest of week for lunches and one dinner. So out of a 5 day work week, I got about 6 meals including the first night I had it for dinner. For a family of two, it should still last for a couple of days for leftovers.

I got the recipe originally from Pinterest (of course) but it linked me to this website:

Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast

The awesome thing about this website is that you can change the number of servings you want and it will change how much of each ingredient you will need accordingly. I just kept the number at 12 because again, I like having the leftovers.

Here is the recipe:

  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used potato soup because I don't like mushrooms)
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 5 1/2 pounds pot roast
Step 1: Add soup, water, and soup mix into the crock pot and mix together.
Step 2: Coat pot roast in mixture
Step 3: Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low 8 to 9 hours.

And that's it! Easy right? The meat comes out so tender and flavorful it like melts in your mouth. Better yet, the gravy is already made with the ingredients that you coat the pot roast in. No extra gravy needed.

The only thing I did differently is I added some potato and baby carrots in towards the end of the cooking cycle just so that I didn't have to make an extra side.
I usually add the veggies with about 2 hours left to the cooking time. If you are like me and you work all day and don't want to wait for another 2 hours after you come home and wait for the veggies, you can either make another side or I suggest turning the crock pot on high for about an hour to make the veggies cook faster.

No matter what you add, I can guarantee the meat will come out amazing. I hope you are able to enjoy this as much as I do.

Watch out for another food blog either Saturday night or Sunday. I have a steak marinade and potato recipe that I'm going to have Ryan grill up for me.

Until next time,


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Barkeepers Friend: Pass or Fail?

So if you know me well, or just recently met me, you should know that I like to keep things clean and organized in my life. You come over to my place, you will always notice that it's clean (even if I just cleaned up right before you came over). I think this is something that I got from my mom. She taught my sibling and I that a clean home is a happy home. Not in those exact words but more or less the fact that you will probably be more comfortable and productive in a clean home.

I've been in my apartment for 9 month now. It doesn't seem like it has been that long but believe it or not, it has. I love my apartment. It's all mine, I can decorate (within reason) however I want, and the best part is I can organize it anyway that I want to! That is really the thing about living on my own. I know where everything is.

The only thing I can really complain about is the fact that is in an apartment and that it is an old apartment. Things are not perfect. The wood in some places is curled but not rotting (thankfully!) and tile is not the best looking, but those are things I can deal with.

The only thing that has been bugging me is my bathroom. Not only is it tiny but it collects so much dirt so fast, I can barely keep up! I've done the best that I can with what I've been given so it's functional for just me. Here's what it looks like now.
Isn't it just the cutest?

Now you're probably asking, what the heck is the point of this? Well calm down and I'll tell you. The point is that my beautiful bathroom has one major defect....the toilet.

I clean my bathroom almost every week. This means the tub, toilet, sink, mirror, and floors. My toilet is a constant source of trouble. I don't know if it's the hard water of San Bernardino or if it's just an old toilet but no matter what I do, I cannot get rid of this hideous black stuff on the inside of my toilet. Here's what I mean:
Gross huh? Don't get me wrong! I've already clean the toilet! This is what is looks like clean!!!

I've tried Cleanser, Bleach, CLR, toilet cleaner, and almost anything that claims to clean toilets but it just won't come off. I've sat there for 30mins or more scrubbing this toilet but nothing will do. So, I conceded to the fact that it may never be white but at least it would be clean. And that's when I came across Pinterest.

I know most of us use Pinterest. Some to plan weddings that won't happen for awhile, to look at clothes we may never be able to afford, decorating ideas only the rich and famous could pull of, and delicious recipes that would make us all fat. But wait! You could just go over to your motivation board and look at all the exercise ideas you pinned to work all that food off. Truth be told, I love Pinterest. I've made a bunch of recipes that I've found and have implanted some of the organization ideas into my home. I've also tried some of the exercises to much failure due to my lack of coordination. But I digress.

While looking at different organization and cleaning methods, I found something that a lot of other people claimed to be the miracle kitchen and bathroom cleaner. It's called Barkeeper's Friend. It claims on the bottle that once you use it, you will love it. So I decided to give it a try. I went to Home Depot and bought a bottle. It was about $4 for 26oz. That's a pretty good price for something that is supposed to be awesome. Here's what it looks like.
I followed the directions on the bottle and hoped for the best. To be honest, I was hoping that the black stain that had been plaguing me for 9 month would just go away. No such luck. So I scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed, and cursed the heat, and scrubbed some more. Again, I sat there for about 30 min and scrubbed this stupid toilet. To my extreme disappointment, my toilet still is not white.
Here is the toilet after.

I will admit that it is a little better so this was not a complete failure. However, it will probably take me scrubbing twice a week before it will be gone completely. 
Side by side comparison.

While this product didn't do what it promised, I am glad that it began to make a dent....even if it was a tiny one. I'll probably try to continue and look for something that will clean this up but for now, I'll just continue to keep my bathroom clean and hope that one day, I will have a white toilet again.

I do want to say that while Barkeepers Friend did not make my toilet white again that it won't work on your tough stains. It could. I just wanted to give you my experience on the product.

Until next time.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Let It Be

This is currently what I feel like. I feel like I've been I've been running on empty for awhile and I'm not really sure to get out of this funk. I've tried crying, I've tried talking to other people, and I've tried ignoring everything and just going about my daily life. So, what's got me all worked up?

Grad School

Dun Dun Dun! Yes, believe it or not, grad school is stressful. And the worst part is that the people that I talk to the most have no idea what I'm going through. Sure, they may be in school or have gone through a program, but they aren't in my program and they don't understand the overwhelming disappointment I feel in myself when I don't do well on something I think I should have or the anxiety I feel when I speak up in class and then NO ONE has a follow up. I feel like I said something that just didn't make sense at all and made myself look like an idiot. Am I an idiot? Of course not! I know that. I'm obviously smart enough to be in grad school. But it's the having to go through the same anxiety I did in High School and in my Undergrad. That constant feeling that everyone else is judging me and if I don't perform just right, I'm written of as not knowing anything. 

So, what to do? Do I continue to fight the anxiety and participate in class or do I keep my mouth shut, not say anything and just risk not getting all of the participation points?

I'm half way through this program so I know it will be over soon. But I still have another 9 months to go.


Now, let me say this first. I absolutely love my job. I am thankful that I get to do what I love everyday. Do I get frustrated at times? Who doesn't! Do I do a lot more than I get paid for. HECK yes! Even my supervisor said he wished he could pay me more. However, the California education system sucks balls right now so I get to live pay check to paycheck.

What I do not love is the fact that I recently had a situation at work where my job satisfaction was called into question. What did that result in? Being called into my supervisors office so that they could have a talk with me about it. WTF?! Seriously?! If you were to come into my office, I am the most upbeat, helpful, and knowledgeable person. I consistently go above and beyond my job description to serve the students, staff, and faculty that come into my office.

I honestly cannot go into much detail because it may be interpreted the wrong way or it may seem that I don't like my job. But I will be extremely selective in what I know talk about since people can't be trusted.


This is one issue that is always with me. Currently, well, as of this morning anyway, I weigh in at 382 pounds. this means that I have gained 132 pounds since I graduated High School in 2005. Is this my own fault? Yes. I am not  naive to think that my weight gain is just some genetic fluke.

As I've stated before, I'm waiting on insurance approval to have gastric bypass surgery. This would drastically reduce the amount of food and the kind of food that I can eat. And again, I did not come to this decision easily. I've fought my hardest to lose weight on my own only to flat line after losing a few pounds.

Even though I will still have surgery, I haven't given up on trying to lose as much as I can. The hardest part is not seeing results right away. I have a bunch of friends are working on losing weight themselves and are seeing MASSIVE results.I am so proud of my friends who have been seeing result and hitting goals but I selfishly have to say that it makes me feel worse about myself. And feeling bad about myself over the results my friends are seeing makes me feel like a huge jerk.

I have huge image issues. I'm constantly self conscious about the way I look. I don't like being in front of groups because of the way my body looks, I don't like to speak up that often because then people look at me. Sure, I may sit in the front of the class, but I am constantly worrying about what people sitting behind me may be saying, or thinking just based on what they see. Even in high school I felt this way. I was also bullied to an extreme in high school. Being in band didn't help. I was teased not only behind my back but to my face. The people who I spent the most amount of time with in high school were the ones that bullied me the most. I could've quit band but I loved playing so much that I had to deal with it.

Unfortunately we live in a society where image rules.We are defined by the clothes we wear, the make-up we wear, the way our bodies are shaped, and by how tan our skin is. It's extremely difficult for me to leave my apartment on a daily basis knowing I don't fit this mold. I honestly don't want to fit to mold. What I do want is to feel comfortable with the way I look. I don't need to be skinny. I don't even need to be in single digit sized clothing. I want to be healthy. If healthy for me isn't society's ideal, then screw society......and if it were that easy to take my own advice, I wouldn't be writing this.


So, what do I do? What does all this ranting that will get 5 or 6 views and no comments mean? I have no idea. I just know that there was stuff that I needed to get out. There was stuff that while I don't feel comfortable with people knowing, people should know because it's apart of me. I need to learn to let things go and to accept what I cannot change

It is going to take me so long to get to a point where I can go out in public and just strut my stuff without having to worry if the girl few feet away is laughing at me with her friends or if it was just a joke. Or if the good looking guys at a near by table are checking me out because I'm looking fabulous or because they're making jokes about the fat chick who shouldn't be in the restaurant.

I guess I just have to Let It Be.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Healthy Feet

So on Monday I started this foot remedy that I found on Pinterest. Had I followed through all 5 days, my feet would be awesome smooth right now. I only did it for three days though but my feet look 70% better than they did. It's very simple to do but you just have to have the time to do it.

Here's what you need:

Warm water
1/2 cup Epson Salt
Firm Tooth Brush
Nail File
Vitamin E Oil (make sure that it is the oil, not cream)

Step 1: Fill a bucket or the tub with warm water and 1/2 cup of Epson Salt. ( Make sure the Epson salt is dissolved before you soak your feet.
Step 2: Soak your feet in the warm water for 30 min.
Step 3: Pat feet dry and rub effected area with tooth brush. You only need to do this for a short time to get the dry skin off.
Step 4: Rise feet and pat dry. Then use nail file on affected areas until everything is smooth.
Step 5: Rub Oil onto feet and then cover with socks.

Do this for 5 consecutive days for best results. After 5 days, make sure you keep your feet moisturized with lotion.

It really does work or I wouldn't post it. I'm going to try again next week to do it for all 5 days since I'll have more free time. If you've known me for a long time, you know my feet are REALLY cracked and dried around my heel area, so for this to work was amazing!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Day at a Time

Okay, so I'm going to try this again. Originally I started this blog back in 2009 but I never kept up with it. Mostly because I got to busy and totally forgot about it. This time, I'm going to use it for more that just my thoughts. I want to use it for showing the delicious dinners I make and the things I do to my apartment. I also want to show the transformation I'll be going through with my weight loss.

If you've missed the past couple years of my life, here's what's been happening:

  • I graduated from CSUSB in June 2010 and then started working there full time in September that same year.
  • I started my Master's program last September at University of Redlands. I'm half way through and I will have my Master's in Higher Education. No, it is not for teaching. It is for administration.
  • I finally moved out of the desert to San Bernardino and I am living on my own with my two cats.
  • Ryan and I are still together. We just celebrated 5 1/2 years. We broke up for about a week but let's face it; we are made for each other.
  • Lastly and probably the biggest news is the fact that I am currently waiting on approval from my insurance to have gastric bypass surgery. This decision was not easy for me. After struggling to lose weight for over a year and multiple sprains, I talked to my doctor about my options. I've gone though all of the pre-testing and I am just waiting to see what the insurance says. This is something that I was not sure I wanted to put out into general knowledge, but with the support that I've been getting and the fact that if it is approved, I'm going to shrink super fast, I might as well say something now.
That's it for now. I have reading to do for class anyway. But I will leave you with a picture of my babies.
 This is MJ (Munchie Jr.) and Sadie Bug.