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random goings on

9 Apr

Edit: I actually wrote this post on Thursday, but my camera battery went dead, and I wasn’t able to pull the pictures off, and I haven’t been home since then to get them.  I know it’s kind of weird to be posting a recap of the weekend a week late, but I really want to document this time in our life, so weird or not – here it is!

I really can’t believe it’s already Thursday again, and I’m just writing my first blog post this week.  I have to admit, I’m really struggling with this whole “getting into a routine” thing.  We have been SO busy lately, and honestly we just haven’t been at home much at all.  Because my mom and step-dad live so far away from the city, by the time the husband and I do everything we need to do after work, we don’t get home until super late.  This means minimal blog time and little to no cooking.

We have been spending so much money on eating out lately, and while I try to keep it as clean as I can it’s still not the same as knowing exactly what’s in my food.  The jeans are starting to feel a little snug despite training for our half marathon, and I’m going to have to clean it up a little more asap.  I’m not going to lie…it has been hard. You’d think that being five weeks into our new life, I would have found a balance by now, but I think it’s getting worse not better.  I’m just so ready to live in the town we work in, have more time at home and get back on a regular blogging schedule – it cannot happen soon enough!

This past weekend, the husband and I went to the OKC Home Show to try and get some ideas for our house; while we didn’t really get a lot of decor ideas, we did buy a steam mop that I’m really excited about. haha.  I’m such an adult now.

On Sunday we went and tried another new church and then met up with some friends for lunch.  I went to college with Elyse, Ryan and JJ, and it was so so fun to hang out again.  They are one of the many reasons why we are so excited to have moved to the city – looking so forward to reconnecting and having fun date nights!

JJ and her cute baby boy, Grayson.  Seth didn’t quite make it into the picture.

Ryan and Elyse

After lunch we went over to my grandparent’s house to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday.  Even though we live so close now, I still feel like we’ve barely spent any time with my whole family, and it was so nice to just spend time with everyone.  And we got to see our baby of course.

I believe my grandpa is one of the best men who has ever existed.  He has quite the sense of humor, and he never fails to make me laugh…always telling jokes and being clever:)  He has been such a hard worker his entire life; even to this day he loves nothing more than being outside, working hard.  In the summer he always has a bandana around his forehead, coveralls on, with sweat all over him as he fixes and/or makes everything under the sun.  But he also reads books like it’s his job:)  I love my grandpa so much, and I’m so thankful to have him in my life.  He’s one of the most important people in the world to me.  And now he’s helping take care of spoil my baby, and I couldn’t be more thankful.

Pictures of my Grandpa are still stuck on my camera (don’t ask), so I’ll be posting them soon!  I just had to get this post up..it was getting ridiculous.

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In other news, our house is coming along nicely!  Things have sped up the last few days; one day we went and it was a concrete slab (which we were hugely excited about), and the next day it looked like an actual house!

We’ve got windows and walls, and I really wanted to just set up camp for the night but decided that it might be best to wait until our roof is not just rafters.

Also, today we went to the design center and were able to pick out most of the details.  We analyzed back-splashes, tile, cabinets, counter-tops, wood floors, paint, brick and tons more.  It was pretty overwhelming, but also so much fun!  Because the husband and I are a little bit picky, we didn’t have nearly enough time to finish, so we’ll be going back next week to wrap it up.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share some pictures of what we’ve picked out!

Tomorrow I have a second interview with the ESL institute that I would prefer to teach at, and I’m hoping I’ll find out more about it in general and more about if/when I’ll be able to start!  Right now everything is so crazy that I don’t know how I’m going to fit in a job, but it’ll work somehow;)  I just hope it all goes well and that they want to hire me sooner rather than later.

So, that’s a really random recap of everything that’s going on right now.  It’s so funny how when my life is crazy I really want it to slow down and I envy people who have a semi normal schedule.  But as soon as my schedule turns normal, I long for excitement an spontaneity.  I guess it’s really all about embracing whatever moment you’re in, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.  Trying being the key word here.

I’m thankful to those of you who have been still stopping by this little blog of mine.  I promise the disorganization and lack of focused posts will all pull together soon and things will be back to normal.  Thank you for sticking with me through it all though.  Hope you’ve had a great week!

Do you thrive on routine and normalcy in your schedule or do you love when things are crazy?

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great books and other stuff

1 Apr

Despite the fact that it’s Friday and the weather has made vast improvements, I am dragging today!  The culprit?

This book.

Yesterday I was killing a little bit of time before picking the husband up from work, so I ran across the street to Border’s because they’re having a huge closing sale.  After wondering around for awhile, my eyes landed on the cover of Euna Lee’s memoire.  I am a big fan of memoirs; I just recently finished two different ones, Thin is the New Happy by Valerie Frankel and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls – two books that could not be more different, but were equally engaging and wonderful.  I highly recommend both, but to give you fair warning, The Glass Castle is very harsh and somewhat disturbing at times…like when you see something so devastating that you want to look away, but you just can’t.  But in the end it shoots straight to your heart as it speaks of redemption and the ability to rise above any situation, and I walked away feeling inspired and more aware of the world.

But back to the book of last night.  I read a few pages right after I bought it and knew right away that it would be hard to put down.  After running a couple of errands and making the trek back home, I picked it back up; three hours and 275 pages later I stumbled into bed.  Lee’s account of her time in captivity in North Korea took me on a journey that ended in a renewed thankfulness for the most important things in life and a new perspective of how God leads us through the toughest of times.  Thought provoking and emotional, at times I felt I was right there with her as she agonized over missing her baby and having no certainty over her future – and upon her arrival back home where she embraced gratefulness, safety and those she loved most.  I loved it.

This morning I had plans to get some work done at Starbucks, but I just had to finish the last 15 pages or so.  This is my problem with books – if they’re riveting enough to keep me flipping the page, then I simply cannot walk away from them.  Gets me every time.  Having rushed out of the house in a blur of bags, laptops and keys this morning, I didn’t have time to eat breakfast, but Starbucks perfect oatmeal to the rescue once again!  The best option for breakfasts on the run.

topped with dried fruit and nuts

I also wanted to toss in one my favorite easy lunches that I had yesterday.  I’ve made a version of this before with just black beans, but the spices in this one had me over the moon.

Baked sweet potato with leftover Amy’s Chili poured over top. And a side of kale chips.

This could even be a portable snack to take to the office (which I’ll be needing soon!) if you have a microwave.  Maybe subbing out the kale chips for a bag of steamable broccoli?   I just love little meals that are warm and homemade tasting, but take minutes to prepare.

I’m so happy it’s Friday (duh), and I’m so excited because the husband and I are going to the OKC home show this weekend.  We’ve got some serious house decisions to make in the next week, so hopefully we’ll come away with some direction and inspiration.

Have a lovely weekend!

What is your favorite book you’ve ever read?
If I had to choose one, I’d probably say Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible – read it while we lived in Thailand, and could read it a thousand more times.  Side note – the other day I was re-listening to My Sister’s Keeper in the car, and I had this sudden realization that books can take on a whole new meaning and impact with each time you read them.  There are different things going on in my life right now that cause me to read it in a completely different way than last time.  Love that about books.

catching up: job news, running, food

31 Mar

How is it already Thursday???

It seems like we were just chillin’ in Tulsa yesterday, and it’s already been almost a week.  While I kind of feel like my head is spinning, I really wouldn’t mind if all of the next 12 weeks (until our house is done) go just as fast.

This morning I woke up in serious need of a run.  I was just itching to get out there!  It was a welcome change from yesterday’s wake up after which I did not want to go out in the freezing cold and run.   I also was on a deadline with a job application and having some stomach problems, so I didn’t go.  I wonder if maybe the break was just what I needed.  Anyway, I sailed through five miles, happy as a lark (seriously).

Upon arriving back home I did some stretching and downed half a coconut water.  Hydration, hydration.  And a yogurt bowl.

plain greek yogurt, blueberries, 1/2 banana, raw oats and chia seeds

Catching up….our weekend in Tulsa was just as glorious as expected.  Really, one for the books.  While I truly thought there would be a lot of exploring of Tulsa going on…we actually explored very little.  Much of our time was blissfully spent at the house eating, reading by the fire, watching Lost, and sleeping.  We were so happy to have little O by our side – and she was the sweetest little thing all weekend; our family was complete again for 2 whole days.

We weren’t completely lazy the entire time, though.  On Saturday we tried a new restaurant called Cafe Samana that the husband discovered while perfecting his Googling skills.  A little hole in the wall nestled in the center of a plaza on Peoria Street, this restaurant was our match made in Heaven.  We walked in to find that everything in the store was recycled or recyclable – from the papery thin tablecloths to the mismatched vintage glasses.

The vegetarian/vegan options were nearly endless, and everything on the menu sounded delicious.  I ordered the day’s special – the Falafel Sally.

A crisp bed of lettuce served as a base for carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, spicy sprouts, and feta with a cucumber dill dressing, hummus, pita crisps and the star of the show – seasoned chickpea balls.

A last minute mango Kombucha rounded out my meal perfectly.  Meals like this make me happy, from the quaint atmosphere to the eclectic mix of people dining there….it was all good.  And the food was really really delicious.  If we went back I’d actually have a really hard time not getting the same thing again.

Our other non lazy activity was our seven mile run by the river on Sunday morning; I absolutely adored this running path.  We started on a park trail which soon transitioned to the path that runs down Riverside and ends on a two lane road, leading to our weekend home.  Little traffic, nice trail, light breeze, cold temps.  Perfect formula for a successful run.

Lately I’ve been concerned about the husband because his training has been a bit….sketchy.  With his work transition, plus carrying two jobs on the side, he just hasn’t had the time to put in the weekly mileage.  On Sunday, about a mile in, I was trying to think of a way to entertain him, which I’m sure he really appreciated (sarcasm).  So I just started talking.  Telling stories of my youth – from riding my mini bike in the woods beside our old house to how many Accelerated Reader (do you remember this?) points I got in the 5th grade.  What can I say?  I’m an interesting gal.

Anyway, once I started chatting I couldn’t shut up, and I ended up talking his ear off the entire 7 miles.  It was like a dam was broken and I couldn’t hold back the flood of words. heh.  Turns out the husband had an insanely happy run, finishing it out at a sprint (yeah husband!).  I’m pretty sure it was because of my mad entertaining skills.  Either way we finished 7 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes including walk breaks.  Not a time we’d qualify for Boston with by any means, but we were satisfied.

This week has been pretty crazy.  I’ve still been filling out applications like it’s my job, and I got two interviews this week!  Both interviews were for the same position just at different places.  Same job responsibilities, same hours…but a decent amount of difference in pay and 20 minutes apart in location.  For both I would be teaching English classes to international students, which I am so thrilled about; you know how I am about international students.  One of them is a stone’s throw away from the husband’s office, which would be a huge plus (meet for lunch, ride to work together etc), but it’s also the one that pays about $350 a month less.  The other one is about 20 minutes from his office, but only about 10-15 minutes away from our new house.  I’m supposed to go in this afternoon to talk to the latter one a little bit more and meet some of the other instructors.  I’m pretty excited!  I was afraid I’d have to get a random job like Gap or something that I don’t really care about, so I’m just happy to have the chance to do something I love.

We’re also busy this week trying to get our Mini fixed (from getting rear-ended) and back on the market to sell, which is harder than one might think. Blah.  Crazy times, crazy times.  People keep telling me that one day I’ll look back on this time and miss the craziness.  People love to say things like that when your life is turned upside down.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll have some more good (and more definite) news to report on the job front later today.  I hope you’re all having a fanstastic week!

Do you have spring weather where you are?
Our weather seems to be confused, thinking this is November instead of March – it’s freezing!

valentine's day + the weekend

15 Feb

Hello!

Happy late Valentine’s Day to all my lovely readers!  I took Sunday and yesterday off from the internet to love on the husband and pack.  In that order.

But today I’m back at it…and I’ve got lots to catch up on.

On Saturday we met the husband’s parents in the city to show them our lot and take them through a house that has our floor plan.  I don’t think I’d ever get tired of driving over to see our little piece of land, although if signs of an actual house don’t start to appear soon I may change my tune. Ha.  We should be breaking ground any day now, though, so it won’t be long!

Also on Saturday, we stopped by Jonathan’s new office to check it out.  Got to enjoy a pretty sunset while we were at it!

The husband surprised me with Valentine’s Day plans on Sunday.  Our weekdays are just impossible now between Jon commuting to the city and back and working two extra jobs in the evening.  Add on packing and we basically have no life outside of it all.

So our little celebratory day started off at a quaint little coffee shop in downtown where we shared some dessert and sipped on dark French press coffee.  We enjoyed the atmosphere almost as much as the food, lounging back on a modern couch with the sun streaming in the windows.  Love coffee shops.  And good conversation.

Afterwards, we set out in the Mini to explore around town a little bit – what we do best.  With the weather a nice 70 degrees, we cruised around with the sunroof down, admiring big old houses and taking pictures of color schemes that called out to us.  We drove and drove and drove.  A perfect sunny afternoon, just the two of us.  And of course, before it was all over we ended up sitting in front of our lot daydreaming.

Jonathan had made reservations for us for dinner, so after a few hours had passed and our hunger had returned, we headed to the restaurant.  It had a modern and somewhat eclectic décor that made us smile the minute we walked in.

We started off with the vegan nachos – cashew cheese (first time for this!), black beans and roasted veggies.   I’ve been wanting to try cashew cheese for ages, and it was just as tasty as I expected.  I got so excited about the vegan items on the menu as it’s a rarity here in OK.  So nice to just order something and not have to make a million changes and then be disappointed when it comes out wrong.

We then moved on to the main course – chicken sandwich for him and veggie burger with sweet potato fries for m.e  This was my first time to have sweet potato fries at a restaurant, and I was stoked.  They were so delicious, and the veggie burger did not disappoint.

While dessert looked very tempting, we were quite full already so we passed on ordering anything.  But it wasn’t just a few minutes and out came our server with a bowl full of cotton candy.

sorry  – kind of creepy

One of the most random things I’ve ever seen in a restaurant – so unexpected as it didn’t really match the feel of everything else.  But also so fun!  I love little randomocities like that.  I don’t even like cotton candy, but it was really fun to look at and play with.  And I didn’t take a few courtesy bites, so our server wouldn’t think us to be too high maintenance.  Sadly, my camera battery died right in the middle of dinner, so the rest of the night I had to use the iPhone.

By the time we chatted over the cotton candy for another half hour or so, we decided to head out.  There was still one last place on the list for the night.

105 Degrees.


One of the coolest places in OKC, at least for a health foodie.  I’ve wanted to go there for so long, but somehow had never made it.  105 Degrees is a raw restaurant, shop, juice/smoothie bar and raw culinary academy all in one.  It has a great, quirky modern vibe, and the service and food were excellent.

We sat at the bar and ordered dessert – one green smoothie and one green juice, yes please!

the Thai Green – mango, lime, young coconut, Thai chili, lemon grass, spirulina

Best green smoothie and juice I’ve ever had, hands down.  I don’t know how they did it, but it was divine.  We hung around, chatting with the bar tender for quite awhile and exploring the little shop there before deciding to head back home.

I’ll be so happy the day that we don’t have to drive an hour to get back home from the city.  It was well worth it, though.  A great night to celebrate our fifth Valentine’s Day as husband and wife – couldn’t have been better.  I know a lot of people think Valentine’s Day is silly and too hyped up, and I somewhat agree.  But there’s no way I can complain about an entire afternoon and evening being set aside for just us.  No distractions, no talk about work (well, almost)…just sweet time hanging out.

What was your Valentine’s like?  Did you celebrate?  What was the best part of your weekend?

This week I’ll be back to talk about some of the raw/mostly raw meals I’ve been enjoying (thanks, Kris Carr) and how I’m feeling as a result!

giveaway time! spreading the chia love

23 Aug

Jon and I woke up bright and early this morning and headed out for a three mile run.  It actually wasn’t too terribly humid and hot, and therefore was almost enjoyable.  I said almost😉

Soon after we got back, I was starving for breakfast and was wasting time on twitter while trying to decide what to have when Evan tweeted an idea for the Vega Shake and Go Smoothie mix from the HLS swag bag.  It sounded too good to pass up, so I went for it!

It may not look too appetizing, but don’t knock it ’till you try it.

First, I mashed a whole banana until it was fairly smooth. I then mixed in two heaping spoonfuls of Vega powder, 1/3 cup of raw oats and a splash of almond milk.  It turned out like a thick chocolate pudding!  My only complaint is that it was a tiny bit grainy from the powder.  Next time I think I’ll go a little easier on the powder, but otherwise it was awesome!  And full of protein!

The Vega mix is completely plant based and is corn, dairy, gluten, soy, wheat and yeast free. Per serving it has:

  • Two servings of veggies
  • 2500 mg Omega-3-6-9
  • 11 g complete protein
  • Only 100 calories
  • 1 billion probiotics cultures

Pretty cool, right? I have yet to find a protein powder that I like, but I’m a fan of this.

This morning I had my first meeting with a new student that I’m going to be tutoring!  She’s from Korea, and I’ll be tutoring her 3 days a week now.  I’m pretty excited about it – something inside me just lights up when I work with international students. 🙂

After my meeting I had lunch with my friend Grace at Panera.  I ordered a version of my favorite – Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, Garden Vegetable soup and a whole grain baguette.

And an Adora disc for dessert.  Not sure what I’m gonna do when these run out – I’ve gotten kind of attached:)

Okay, now onto the good stuff.  Sorry to leave you hangin’.

How about some chia seeds from ChiaSeedsDirect.com to make it up to you?

I don’t like to bombard you guys with giveaways, but I honestly just cannot pass up an opportunity to spread the chia love:)

The lovely folks at ChiaSeedsDirect have been gracious enough to offer a free 2lb. bag of chia seeds to one fabulous ChiaSeedMe reader.

There are five different ways you can enter (1 entry for each one you do):

  • leave a comment on this post telling me the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done OR something adventurous you want to do in the future
  • add ChiaSeedMe to your blogroll and tell me you did or if it already is tell me that
  • follow me on twitter (@chiaseedme) and tweet about the giveaway using the following:    @chiaseedme enter to win free chia seeds!!  http://chiaseedme.com/?p=2235
  • decide on one random act of kindness you will do sometime this week and tell me what it is (and you have to do it – honors system!)
  • mention the giveaway in a blog post and link to it in the comments

Please make sure and tell me which of the five you did in the comments.

The giveaway will run until Sunday, August 29th at midnight.

If you’ve never used chia seeds before and need some ideas – click here for tons of ways that I love to use them.  Also, make sure and check out my post on why chia seeds are so awesome.

If you haven’t checked out ChiaSeedsDirect yet, you should!  They are an awesome company that offers the highest quality chia seeds at very low prices with free shipping on all U.S. orders.  You can’t beat that!  Also, if you are interested, feel free to download a free 16-page booklet on chia seeds, chia seed uses and chia seed recipes by using the following link: http://www.chiaseedsdirect.com/frreonchsehe.html.

**giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.  Sorry!

See you all later!

better when we're together

22 Aug

Yesterday we spent the entire afternoon and evening cleaning the house from top to bottom!  We did the basic cleaning of everything and then had to fix the closet explosion.  While it wasn’t too fun cleaning all day – it was much more fun doing it together!

Especially when I walked in to see this

Gotta love the combination of a cute husband and some soft scrub:)

Anyway, we finally stopped cleaning last night in time to eat up some well deserved leftover enchiladas…followed by some froyo.  Unfortunately I was so wiped out I forgot the camera, so no pics.

Breakfast this morning was made by the husband

Ezekiel english muffin with natural peanut butter and 1/2 sliced banana.  I had this x2

I inhaled this on the way out the door to church.  Somehow we run late to church every week!  We only live 5 minutes away, but for some reason we always wait ’till the last minute to get up and then race around like crazy people to get there.  And every week I swear I’m going to get up earlier, but it’s always the same story.  Better late than not at all I suppose.  It’s funny that I’m late so often, considering how much I hate it.

This past year, I got in the routine of leaving for school about a half hour before I really had to leave.  It was awesome because most days it gave me extra time in the morning to grade/plan, and then on the days when I couldn’t find my keys or it was raining cats and dogs, I wasn’t late!  It was a great system really…one that I need to reinstate into my life.

Right now we are seriously low on groceries.  One of my top priorities for today is to make a grocery list and go stock up for the week.  When we are low on groceries, there is one thing that tends to happen a lot.

Eating out.  Hence today’s lunch.

Whichwich sandwich – avocado, tomato, lettuce, bell pepper, pickles, mushrooms and pesto on whole wheat

I’m not gonna lie – it was absolutely delicious.  But I’m so ready to have our fridge stocked with fresh food and make home-cooked meals!

This afternoon is sure to be busy – I’ve got to buy groceries, work on Outbox, do my photography homework among other things.

I’ll be back tonight with an update on what our plan is for marathon training.  I have mixed feeling about our plan, but I feel sure it’s the right decision.

Have a great and relaxing Sunday!

Are you a person who’s always late or always early?  Do you early birds have any tricks up your sleeve on how to be more timely?

hls – the gift that keeps on givin'

18 Aug

missed recap 1, 2 or 3?

Hey, hey!

It’s finally time for the fourth and final HLS recap!

After the last session on Saturday I had a really short break before yoga.

I was so excited about this yoga class!  Confession:  I have never been to a studio yoga class before. There isn’t a studio in my town, so I only go to our gym yoga.  And let me tell you, it is NOT the same.  Subway sponsored us to go to Exhale to attend a core fusion yoga class.  Core Fusion Yoga includes a cardio element and is fueled by upbeat and inspirational music.  Oh, and the instructor was cuh-razy.  And I liked it:)  A lot.

There are no Chinese gongs at Gym One.  Nor are there any wall ladders use for stretching (perfectly normal).

Allison, Lauren, Lizz, me

Love my new yoga buddies!  I was freakin’ out Saturday because I didn’t know anyone going to yoga.

Let’s be real.  I didn’t know anyone going to yoga, AND I didn’t know anyone going to the Mexican dinner I had signed up for that night.

Hi, I’m Candice, and I sometimes get scared of being awkward and having no friends. There, I said it.

So, like any normal person would do – I tweeted out a plea for friends during one of the sessions on Saturday.  And the angel above in the blue dress was my twitter hero:)

I loved this yoga class.  Oh, and they gave us free mats!

Which we had no other choice than to cart around for the rest of the night at said Mexican restaurant.  Classy.

JT and I before yoga

After yoga, we dried our sweaty hair, applied new deodorant and rushed out the door to dinner!

Sabrina had made reservations for a group of us at Mercadito, a swanky and fun mexican restaurant.

Jessie, Sabrina, Lizz

I sat with this awesome blogger and we hit off right away!  I  love this girl.  Cannot wait to go to NY to visit sometime.

It was a fun night of chattin’ up a storm, takin’ photos of our food…and eating!  All the plates were for sharing.

I was in heaven from the start – 3 different kinds of guacamole

chips fo dippin’

mixed greens, red cabbage, corn, jícama,
queso fresco, chipotle-balsamic vinaigrette

fried plantains with a  ginger-jalapeño sauce

vegetarian tacos – black bean hash, rajas poblanas,
crema fresca, crispy potatoes

These tacos were the food highlight of the day for me.  The flavors were fantastic, and the corn tortillas were homemade – so soft!

and dessert….

flan de cajeta  – goat’s milk caramel custard

Flan!  I’ve never had flan before – it’s always been a dessert that I’ve only seen in the movies, lol.  This caramel one was to die for!  There were two other flavors brought to our table, but I nearly gagged on one of them, so I tried to lure the caramel one back down to our end;)

This meal was awesome – so many different new flavors.  And I loved that everything was shared.  I got to try so much, but I was able to walk our rather than roll out, so that was a bonus!


We hung around the restaurant for quite a while and then walked back to the hotel about midnight.  Still with our yoga mats in tow.

And that’s a wrap!  About 4 hours later I was up and at ’em, heading to the airport.

It was such a quick weekend…and I totally wish I could relive it!  I’m so ecstatic about the new friends I made, and the twitter and blog fun that will ensue.  HLS: the gift that keeps on givin’.

Hope to see ya at HLS 2011!