Good-Bye 2018!

This post isn’t going to be a sentimental one.  Besides, struggling with a small bout of anxiety and depression these past few months… what has  really kept me from posting on here lately is this cold we have had since Halloween, that hasn’t very really gone away!!!!So, my apologies for that.

2018 has just been an OKAY year for me and the family. We have had some good ups and some pretty bad downs… but over all 2018 has been middle of the road.

However, what this post is really about is the goals in 2018 I accomplished or didn’t.. lol I have wrote a post showing the checklist I made for 2018.

Before..

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& After…

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I have accomplished 12 out of the 18 goals for this year & 7 out of 18 of these goals I have sort of accomplished. (Become more organized,VLog More,Meal Plan More, Cook 1 New Meal a Week, Improve My Credit, Give Back, & Start a Book/CookBook) These are things i DID do, but I don’t feel like I fully completed them to be satisfactory enough to be consider completed. And Just 2 that I didn’t complete. Getting the boys baptized.. *insert eekk face here* but it IS happening in 2019 and travel more. We did go to So.Cal and Idaho this year… but those are kind of typical trips for us, so I don’t count it has actually traveling more.

Overall, I would say I did well. I accomplished quite a bit! 2019 will be interesting because I am adding a lot more to my Goals list, on top of the fact that I also have my Before 30 Bucket List. I will share my 2019 Goals List in a post tomorrow. For now I am going to try and rest and celebrate this NYE with the family. What were some goals you had for 2018 and did you complete them?!

Locals Only: Beer-Thirty

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For Father’s Day, as part of Andrew’s day we tried a new place called Beer Thirty in Soquel,CA which is you are not too familiar with California/The Bay Area that small town near Santa Cruz. Andrew is really into trying new beers, so when I discovered this place (thank you Instagram) I knew we had to go try it out and what was great is that it’s kid friendly! (It’s also, dog friendly).

Now the thing with popular trendy places, that get a lot of hype through instagram and other social media influencing is that I tend to get really excited and then really let down. BUT BEER THIRTY DID NOT DISAPPOINT!

It is advertised as a pour house (which it is) but it is also a beer garden. I did a quick read through on yelp, so I had an idea of what to expect but my expectations were met and then some. Beer Thirty is essentially… 2 buildings and then an open space filled with family style picnic seating and then separated into 2 areas one for families and one 21 and over.  The two building are essentially Beer and food.

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I will start with the big draw.. the beer.  I am actually allergic to beer so I get hard cider when we go to places like this, but they offer 30 mostly California brewed beers on tap and then they have hundreds (maybe thats an exaggeration) of beers in cans and bottles to choose from.  Andrew ordered North Coast Old Rasputin and Corralitos Wease Da Joo-Oos and I had the Golden Stare Newton Pippin. I enjoyed the cider, but it wasn’t anything special and Andrew’s favorite of the 2 beers for the Corralitos.  I like that they let you do tastings and beer flights as well.

The other tiny building has like hipster pub food you can order; but it’s a small selection. So, pro tip: you can bring your own food in to enjoy while you are there too. Just not your own drinks. I got myself a bacon grilled cheese which was DELISH and some fries. Which for a picky eater like me, was the only thing really on the menu that appealed to me.

We spent the rest of our time there just sitting and talking, Bennett was running around making fast friends with other toddlers his age and honestly the vibe is just super relaxing and chill. Most definitely something we enjoyed, we were already planning when we would be back and who we had to take with us.  If you are ever in the area and you like beer; go check it out!

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Bennett’s 2nd Birthday Party: Curious George Theme

So late last month we celebrated Bennett’s 2nd Birthday Party. We had it later in the month because Bennett’s actual birthday on the 3rd was just too close to Owen’s birth and I knew I wasn’t going to be up to planning a birthday party SO soon after giving birth. In fact, usually I start planning a party months in advance and although i had an IDEA of what i wanted for Bennett’s party; I didn’t begin until about a week before and most of the supplies I got were from the Dollar Store, some Target and Amazon too.

For the past few month before, I also debated between whether his theme should be Curious George, Cars or Baseball. He loves all 3 of those. However, I figured baseball & cars are things he will most likely still like as he gets older, but Curious George represents his current age very well. Since I love planning parties and have such bad luck with them (usually the weather) I decided to give myself slack this time around. I was going to keep it very simple and casual and not stress about it.  And that paid off. Cause just like every other party I have had before, the weather was my nemesis. The WHOLE Week, the weather had been perfect, but of course the day of the mainly outdoor party it had to be overcast weather with some light showers. Which led to  very anti-climatic decor as I couldn’t really decorate outside. BUT i didn’t panic and just accepted the day for what it was and what was accomplished looked nice.

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For food we kept it simple with Sloppy Joe’s I Made, pizza from Little Ceasar’s, Fresh Veggies, Pretzel Chips and for Dessert. Funfetti Cake w/ Lemon Icing, Banana Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Chocolate frosting all of which I made and decorated.

 

The weather did get better towards the end and the party overall was nice and Bennett had a bajillion cupcakes and enjoyed himself thoroughly which is all that really matters at the end of the day.

Weekly Re-Cap: #2

 

Welp, first off I am late to getting this posted! So way to go me! But to be honest, this past week is sort of a blur to me…

Sunday, Andrew and I had planned to clean out our Garage. We had recently acquired a whole bunch of my childhood boxes, which ended up taking up a while bunch of space. So my goal was to go through all of the boxes and sort them or throw stuff away and then make space in the garage for everything.  We woke up that morning and I made my delicious Gluten Free Pancakes. and we started to unload the garage so I could go through everything.

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Unfortunately, half way through the process of cleaning I got some very sad and serious news. Nothing that I plan on sharing at the moment; but something that definitely put a slight damper to the day.  We decided to run some errands and just hang out and process for a moment. Then I continued with the cleaning process for a short while and mainly just organized the garage so we could get stuff when we needed it. We will be having another clean out day pretty soon though.

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The rest of the week I was in a real funk. I tried to get work done, but really just couldn’t muster the energy up to do it. Besides getting workouts in, I cannot remember most of the week. This is what I can remember though…

Tuesday, Owen turned 2 Months old! Which is a shock to me, but it also feels like he has been here 6 months already. It was also National Have A Coke Day so I celebrated just that on Instagram. Also, I think this was the day that the first prototype of one of the shirts we will be selling on the new website arrived too!

With Owen turning 2 months old we had his 2 month Old check up where I was pleased to find out he is gaining weight again! Even if he is still in the 1% percentile. The doctor didn’t seem too worried about his breathing/sleep issues ( i’m still convinced he has mild sleep apnea or something similar) and she confirmed what I suspected that he does have a flat head on one side, but he doesn’t need a helmet at the moment. Besides that… everything looks good.

On Bennett’s end we attempted to begin Potty training, but really I set myself up for failure on this aspect because I really didn’t give myself several days where we are JUST home to prepare ourselves. I am not pushing it, but he is wearing pull-ups, with some naked time and he has sat on the portable potty we have (something I wanted to avoid but felt would work best with Bennett) but doesn’t like it very much, he will in a worried tone say “YAY!” but he hasn’t sat on it willingly yet. To bribe him we give him hot wheels, which he enjoys. BUT i have cleaned more pee AND poop off the floors than I would like to admit.

Friday, we watched my little brothers baseball game (they won) and then we went to dinner afterwards which was nice and Saturday, we went to watch Andrew’s cousin play softball. She absolutely killed it, even if their team lost and afterwards we had pizza at their place. It is always nice getting to spend time with them; since both Andrew and I only met that side of the family 2 years ago and Andrew’s youngest cousin is only a year older than Bennett. So they get to spend time together playing and that was a wrap up to our week and nice way to end it since it had started with such bad/sad news.

 

January TBBC Book Review: My True Love Gave To Me By Various Authors

I am SO far behind on book reviews! OOPS!

In January Andrew and I embarked on our Book Club reads. Since then we have completed 2 more books, took a break due to the birth of Owen and currently awaiting for our May Read (That Summer by Caitlin Robbins).  While looking for books to semi schedule into our reading routine (although, I derailed that for our March Read) I stumbled across My True Love Gave To Me and knew I couldn’t wait until December 2018 for us to read it. It’s a book filled with Christmas related short stories and I was a big fan of pretty much ALL the authors.

One thing I definitely learned after reading this book and the book before it (Paris for One and Other Stories by JoJo Moyes) is that I am not a big fan of collections of Small Stories; because I if I like the story… I want to read more of it! but, I do appreciate them for what they are.  So I am not going to review all the stories but I am going to note the ones that were our favorites and least favorite stories.

We will begin with my favorites “Welcome to Christmas,CA” by Kiersten White & “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” by Stephanie Perkins. Both stories just made me happy and made me wish that they were snippets of a full blown book.

Runner ups would have been “Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus” by Myra McEntire &“Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han. And although, not my favorites I appreciated “Krampuslauf” by Holly Black and “Star of Bethlehem” by Ally Carter, as they were on par for their style of storytelling.

My least favorite which was also, Andrews least favorite was “The Lady and the Fox” by Kelly Link. I was intrigued by the story at first, but the ending just got really weird and had me scratching my head about what I read. While I didn’t hate it, Andrew most definitely did.

Weirdly, Andrew’s two favorites were ones that I didn’t care for as much. “Angels in the Snow” by Matt de la Peña and “The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor. Although, if you asked him why they were his favorite.. i just get “I don’t know they just are..” I personally, felt like Laini Taylor’s short story, would have been better as a book, i didn’t feel it suited a short story narrative in my opinion. So, it wasn’t that I didn’t like it persay, i just felt it didn’t belong in this book.

Overall, I would recommend My True Love Gave To Me… IF you don’t mind short stories, like a handful of these authors and it’s around the holidays. Reading them after the holidays was a little odd.

Buy The Book Here:My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Rental Home Reno. : Painting the House

Almost a year ago, Andrew, Bennett and I moved into the home we currently live in and it is a unique situation. The home we live in and rent currently is my first childhood home. It is the home my Dad and Mom bought together, that I came home in and learned to walk in. It is the home that my Dad moved into when my parents divorced and I spent a few days a week at and it’s the house that for almost a year I lived in with my ex-husband before we got divorced and that I lived in by myself coping with that divorce.

Living in the Bay Area, prices for homes and rent are pretty ridiculous, little over a year ago our little family of 3 lived in Mountain View,CA in a cute newly renovated Duplex, that we LOVED. However, once when our lease was up the owners decided to increase our rent. We were sad, but we were planned on renewing our lease, despite the fact that it would make us really tight on money. And then my Dad offered up this house; we weighed the pros and cons… Pro it was a house, Con is what an older home, Pro it has a huge backyard, Con we hate the city its located in, Pro the rent is waaayyy cheaper, etc and ultimately it just made sense for us to move there.

Even though it is my technically “my” home we are still renters which means we can’t just fix it up whenever and however we’d like. However, at the beginning of the year Andrew and I made a list of things we would like to improve with home and hopefully we would get approval to do said things. We do plan on living in this house for 3 more years and the first item on that list was to get the exterior of the home painted.

So over a month ago, we had mentioned this to my Dad and about a week ago he texted me to let me know to pick out colors. It was a little out of the blue and we were getting it all done in a few days time frame. So it was a little rushed and we didn’t get to buy samples to try out beforehand. I was going purely off of what I saw online. Which is difficult. This was also a miscommunication on my Dad’s part. He thought since we had asked about it, that we had already tested colors out.. but i digress.

You see, you have NO IDEA how excited I was for this project the color of our house prior to getting it painted was a faded yellow, with faded greenish blue shutters. and peeling white trim. On top of how the landscaping of our front yard, it was just kind of made us embarrassed to have people over….

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For inspiration of course I looked on Pinterest. I knew I wanted a navy-ish exterior, true white trim, a colored door and with the shutters I wanted natural wood stained shutters.

 

So, unfortunately my idea of naturally stained wooden shutters…Which I would want to be the color of the door in the middle photo above; was nixed. AND my original options for a colored door (See below) were nixed.

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For the exterior, Andrew and I debated between two colors from Sherwin Williams.. Naval and In the Navy. Since Andrew doesn’t really give too many opinions when it comes to this kind of stuff. We went with his pick of In the Navy.  The next day was paint day (just the exterior) and after he finished and we saw the final result.. we were a little shocked.

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Although, the photos don’t do full justice to the problem, the home was very BLUE. Not a navy color but BLUE and on top of that there was a mistake and the color was done in a gloss, so we had a very blue and shiny home.  So after a day of discussion we decided to switch to our original color choice of Naval and definitely NOT with any gloss or sheen.

After making the switch and seeing the final product we are both VERY happy with the final results. Every time I drive up to our home, I fall more and more in love with it. There are still a lot of things we need to do. Like the porch needs a new color, all the shutters need to go up, and we need to do landscaping in our front yard, but it never ceases to amaze me what a little fresh paint can do for a home.

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HomeColorSwatch

8 Weeks Postpartum

We are at the 2 month mark since I gave birth to Owen and for the last 2 weeks, I haven’t made any real drastic changed besides doing 100 Squats and 100 Plie Squats almost every day. I also decided to do today’s progress photos without pants, so we can really start to see the progression and looking at those pictures is quite deflating. Not only because, i have to take the pictures with my forward facing camera, and the quality for some reason SUCKS, but also because pictures are HARSH. The way I feel and what I see in the mirror is much nicer than what the photos show me. but that is OKAY.  I try to remember that this body grew TWO babies and that in total was “18” months of my life where my body changed. So before I go into more detail, I will recap with the numbers, my 6 week photos and then my current photos

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My 6 Week Photos…

and then my 8 week photos taken today.

It’s funny cause I look at these photos and SEE NO DIFFERENCE. But, i know that isn’t true. I know there is. However, I look at these photos and know that the past two weeks.. I didn’t work my hardest. Without saying much there were a lot of things that factor into that, but from no on I am going to be stepping my game up. I am adding real cardio back into my routine, which excites me since up until I was pregnant with Bennett I was doing 5-7 Miles a day and participating in 10K’s (was suppose to a half marathon 5 months pregnant with Bennett but that fell through). My diet will be getting switched up and I have decided to set some hard milestone goals for myself.  By 10 weeks I want to be 137, which means losing 5 pounds and by 12 weeks aka 3 months I want to be at my milestone weight of 132 AND by 6 months I want to be 115. Obviously, If if I don’t hit these goals that is OKAY, but it will at least give me something concrete to achieve every few weeks. See ya’ll with an update on May 17th!