Thursday, November 29, 2012

Century Club

I cannot even believe it.  After almost three years of blogging, I hit 100 followers!!!  It's insane to me that there are 100 people out there, probably about 85 who I don't even know IRL, that read my sporadic ramblings and life updates.

I started this blog in March of 2009 when a lot of big changes were happening in my life.  Read my first post here.  I honestly don't even know how I got started on reading other people's blogs, but my subscription list was growing and I thought, "This would be a great way for me to chronicle my journey and let my family members in on what is going on in my life."  And so it began; Breezy In Bloom.

Since then I have experienced cohabitation, becoming a homeowner, getting engaged, becoming and auntie, getting married, and many other smaller milestones along the way.  I am so glad I started blogging so I can look back on these important life moments and remember how I was feeling at that time. 

I also love the fact that I have "met" so many new people through this community.  People who don't blog never get it.  I try to explain it to them by comparing it to a pen pal, but they still look at me like I am crazy.  My husband thinks it's weird that Raven and I text non-stop all day and night, and that I talk about people like Erica, Shay, Steph, and Katie like they are people I actually "know".  People put their heart, soul, and lives out there for you in this community, so it's kind of like you do know them, even if you have never met face to face.

Over the past three years I have struggled with figuring out if I want this space to be more than just a journal for me.  I see a lot of blogs that do give aways and product reviews, and most of the time, I skip past them.  I don't think I will ever be a blog that has sponsors, but never say never, I guess.  I was always conflicted with wanting to grow my reader base and not wanting the responsibility of having to blog every day.  Somehow I got here without posting every day (sometimes only once a month), so I guess I will just keep doing what I am doing and see where it goes from here.

So welcome to all the new folks that have started visiting this little blog of mine!  You have re-energized my passion to keep updating my space here.  I still have a lot to learn about blogging, and it seems things change every day, but I'm gonna fake it 'til I make it and hopefully you stick around.  You can also follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  You know, if you want to (you do).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Couple of Recipes

I have gotten way off track with my eating/drinking and fitness lately.  I can't really blame it on the change of seasons, because here in Nor Cal, the seasons haven't really changed yet.  All I know is that I have been extremely unmotivated to work out, but extremely motivated to drink wine and try out new recipes.

After stuffing myself silly for the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally hit the point where I am ready to get back on track.  Sunday I went to the grocery store and stocked up on fruits and veggies and decided to make a turkey soup to get the leftovers out of the fridge.
Slow Cooker Turkey Soup

Slow Cooker Turkey Soup
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used sweet potatoes instead)
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup corn kernels
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning (I didn't have this and didn't use anything in it's place)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken stock
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place the turkey, onion, celery, potatoes, carrots, corn, poultry seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder into a slow cooker, and pour the chicken stock over the turkey and vegetables. Mix well and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set the cooker on Low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 6 hours.

I used the sweet potatoes that came with our turkey dinner from Raley's and didn't realize they were already cooked and had a citrus flavor to them.  It ended up turning the soup into more of a stew or as JB lovingly referred to it, "mush".  I also added about 2 cups of cooked brown rice.  I really liked it, although it would probably have been more of a soup and less sweet if I had put in uncooked, plain sweet potatoes.  And even though JB called it mush, he liked it too.

Next up...
Reduced-Carb Turkey Chili
I was going to make this on Sunday as well, but the meat didn't thaw out in time, so I made it on Monday night.  I have made this before using Jamie Eason's 3-bean recipe, but she also has this one listed for her lean-out phase which is lower carb.  During JB's paleo phase, we pretty much cut out all legumes and aside from peanut butter, we haven't really incorporated them back into our diet, so I decided to make the veggie option.

Reduced Carb Turkey Veggie Chili

2 lbs. extra lean ground turkey
½ cup chopped onions
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 – 4 oz. cans of diced green chilies
3 cups chopped zucchini
3 cups roughly chopped mushrooms
3 – 14.5 oz. cans Organic Diced Tomatoes (do not drain)
1 tbsp. Xylitol Brown Sugar Blend (Ideal) or regular
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. white vinegar
3 tbsp. regular yellow mustard
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. dried or fresh cilantro
2 tsp. adobo sauce (optional)

Directions: In a large pot add onions and meat, sprinkled with garlic powder and cook until no longer pink (drain using a plate, if desired). Next add the green chilies, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, xylitol and spices (except cilantro) and stir until combined. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally, add cilantro. Serve hot. May sprinkle veggie shreds or a light cheese on top. Makes 12 servings.

I sliced up half an avocado and added a dollop of daisy sour cream to mine.  It was DELISH!  The veggies gave it a great texture and I didn't even miss the beans!  You can find the 3-bean version of the recipe here.

Both of these recipes make quite a bit of food for just the two of us, but you can portion out and freeze for lunches or dinners during the week.  I am looking for more slow cooker recipes to make during the week, so send 'em my way if you have any!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Obligatory Thanksgiving Recap

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their families! Or friends...or whoever you spent the holiday with.  The Blooms hosted TWO Thanksgiving meals over a three day span.  So.Many.Dishes.

First up was Thanksgiving on Thursday with the in-laws.  I know I have mentioned before how awesome my in-laws are, but I just can't say it enough.  I got so very lucky marrying into this family. 

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Mmmmm, turkey...

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JB getting ready to carve

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Photo bomb by yours truly

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Setting the table in super speed

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BIL fell asleep mid-text

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FIL - "Take me home, I'm tired."

Sad to say I didn't get a pic of the whole family, or even of my MIL, since she was the one taking all the pics. Dinner was delicious as usual and the Pats got a WIN, so I was a happy girl!

Saturday we had my family over for round 2. My brother usually works on Thanksgiving and my parents are usually camping, so we decided that Saturday would be a better day to get everyone together. I had both sets of my parents, my brother's family, and my grandma there. My niece was being happy and cute as can be as referenced in the blurry lovely iPhone photos below.  My step-mom and dad got her this cute princess tent and she loved it!

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Playing in the princess tent

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Fitness first with Uncle JB

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Sharing with GP

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Twice baked mashed taters

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Time for pie

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Grammy and Monkey

And a couple of videos to top it off:

Hope everyone had a great holiday with whoever you spent it with.  Thankful to have an abundance of family to spend the holiday with.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

All Thankful And Shiz

A few years back I did the whole "Today I am Thankful For" series every day during the month of November.  Let's be honest, I have only posted 3 times this month and it's almost over, so I'm pretty sure that ship has sailed.

It's never too late to be thankful or grateful or feel blessed though.  The fact that people do this post a day on their blog or Facebook or whatever only during the month of November seems silly to me.  I guess it goes along with the whole Turkey Day thing, but it seems that people should post stuff like that year-round.  Although I would probably block someone who posted every morning that they were thankful for another day that they got to open their eyes.  Some of that stuff can go without saying...

So I will just take this one day of Thanksgiving to note all which I am currently thankful for and you can feel free to skip over it since every other blog you have read today is probably doing the same thing.  Sometimes I blog for you, but I'm kinda selfish, so mostly I blog for me.

Shiz I am thankful for:

JB - My main man has to be number one on my list.  And although is is part of my family, he needs his own line because he's there, in the trenches,  He gets to see me at my best and my worst and he is there for me every step of the way.  He forces me to take time for myself and relax when all I want to do is clean the house or make a million plans or cross things off of my to-do list.  He is there to have a blast with even though all we are doing is sitting on the couch watching TV or running errands on a Saturday.  He's my true BFF and I am so thankful for him.
Family - Even when they drive me nuts I remind myself that some people have no one
Friends - Please see Family
My Mental & Physical Health - This is so important to me.  I want to live a long time and have an amazing quality of life.  I am hopefully taking the right steps now to ensure a long and healthy life with my family and friends.
My Job - Even people who love their jobs don't like getting up in the morning, so I won't be like "Oh I jump out of bed every day eager to get to work and make a difference."  But I do love the people I work with and I work for a great company, and I have a steady and reliable income which I am very thankful for.
Our Home - After almost 3 years we still have no backyard put in and a lot of bare wall space, but it's my favorite place in the world to be.  Living in a safe neighborhood with good schools, where we could someday raise a family should we choose to have one is such a wonderful thing.
Reliable Transportation - My first car was a total lemon and luckily it was at a time when I had other ways of getting places and a dad with a couple of extra cars lying around, but now that I am a grown up and all self-sufficient and shiz, I wouldn't know what to do if I couldn't get to and from all of the places I need to be everyday, mainly my job so I could pay for said reliable transportation.
Access to Fresh, Organic, & Locally Grown Food - Living in California, there is an abundance of this and I am so grateful for that.  I remember visiting New York once and the produce was terrible and so expensive!  I feel fortunate to have all this stuff so readily available.
Blogging - Such a blogger thing to say, but it's so true.  If it weren't for blogging, I wouldn't have all of my precious memories to look back on.  I wouldn't have met people like Ravey-Poo who I talk to and laugh with multpile times a day.  Or my sista from anotha mista, Ashley.  People who don't blog just don't get it.  It's the best.  I am glad to have a network of new people I would have never known without it.

I could get all #firstworld on y'all and say I am thankful for fresh, running water and freedom and democracy, but that's not really my style.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I am thankful for all of that, but, know...

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your family.  Try to remind yourself when you are wishing you could just snuggle up on the couch instead of running all over town to this relative or that relative, that some people don't even get to acknowledge this holiday.  And some people don't have a single soul to spend it with.  Perspective is everything.  Change that and you can change your life.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"When Are You Having Babies?"

Aaaaaaaaaah, the most favorite question of every newly married couple that comes from every direction possible.  Parents, siblings, friends, coworkers, extended family; you name it, they're asking.  Many blogs that I read follow the same evolution; moving in together, engagement, wedding planning, newlyweds, starting a family, trials and tribulations of motherhood.  If you read some of the same blogs I do, I'm sure this is not the first time you have read about this topic.  I can gurantee you, it won't be the last.  However, everyone has a different answer to this question.

So what are we telling people?  I pretty much have it recorded on my phone and anytime someone asks, I just play the recording for them.  Okay, that's a lie, but it's a damn good idea.  Our answer goes a little something like this:

We are currently in the process of paying off our wedding debt.  Once we have this paid off, we would like to spend some time actually enjoying the income we have and building our savings before we have to spend it all on baby supplies, schooling, daycare, etc.  We are also at a point in our careers where the next few years are critical in moving up and getting to where we would like to be.  We are currently undecided either way on starting a family.  There are several aspects that interest us, but there are others that aren't so appealing at this point in time.  When we are at a place where we feel like sleeping through the night, sleeping in on weekends, and doing whatever we want whenever we want to do it without a second thought is no longer appealing to us, we will think about starting a family.

No matter what your opinion is on this topic, or how the above statement makes you feel, people should really try to keep the perspective that this is a very personal choice and everyone makes their choice for very personal reasons.  Right now, we are honest enough with ourselves to know that we are selfish.  And that's our perogative.

Many, many years ago, I had everything planned out.  I was in a long-term relationship at the time and I saw myself married by 26, first kid at 28, second kid at 30 and then we would be done.  After that relationship ended, I really came into my own and realized that I had different priorities and wanted different things in my life.  I still kind of told myself that after I was married, I would wait at least a year or two before starting a family.  Looking back now, I feel like I was doing what a lot of people do.  I wasn't giving myself a choice about a family.  I was just going with the "natural progression" that society places on us.  But if I really stopped and thought about it and learned from the experience of my friends and family, and took into account all that being a mother entails, maybe it's not in my natural progression.  Or maybe, just maybe, I'm not there yet.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good baby fix as much as the next chick.  And I am over the moon for my niece.  I just know that when she starts throwing a fit, that's my cue to hand her over and peace out.  Do I get that being a mother is the most rewarding experience the universe has to offer?  Sure.  Do I also get that it's the most difficult job out there?  Definitely.  And I have my friends and family to thank for both of those things.  I try to make all of life's important decisions with all of the information I have available to me, and the experience of others is great research.

You're not getting any younger.
You're never going to be ready.
M needs a cousin to play with.
Aren't you dying to know how gorgeous your babies would be?
So-and-so needs a friend
I need a grandbaby
It's what you DO.

All of those things may be true, but to us, they are not reasons to just start a family.  My response is usually, "That's great, are you going to pay to raise this child?  Are you going to come over and get up with it in the middle of the night or stay with it on the weekends when we want to go out of town?  No?  Okay great, so then we'll just go ahead and wait on that one."  To some people, getting married is just the step that comes before babies.  So, in order to get the babies, you have to get married.  To me, marriage is finding someone that compliments you well, that you love spending time with, and that you can rely on to get through the good an bad times with.  Having a baby changes the entire dynamic.  Some people love their partner even more after a baby, others find out that they were never on the same page about things after the wedding and that shows through much more when you have another human being to make a priority.

Every so often the topic of babies comes up between us and we have remained on the same page.  I know that JB thinks about carrying on the family name and would love to have his own little science experiment and someday coach a soccer team, and he would be an AMAZING father.  And I would be lying if I said I have never thought to myself, "I can't wait to experience pregnancy and have a little human that wants me more than anyone else in the world."  But that time for us is not now.  And we don't know when it will be.  And we are OKAY with that.

Now if we could just get everyone else on the same page....

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Wish I Was A Little Bit Taller...

I wish I was a baller...

Oh wait, one time I pretended I was.  Hubs and I were clowning around at the gym during our warm up for our workout and I tried my hand and dunking on an 8 ft rim.  Hilarity ensued.

That hubs of mine is so encouraging.  I had to give it another shot...or two.

That should keep you laughing through the rest of your Monday.  You're welcome.  Back soon with a Honilla wedding recap fo dat ass!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Here Comes The Bride!!!

Honilla wedding day is FINALLY here!!! 

I have only known these people for 8 years, but it feels like they have been in my life always.  I knew them when they were just friends, and have seen their relationship grow over the years and endure long distances.  Through everything they have alway put each other first and that makes a great foundation for a wonderful, lifelong marriage.  I feel so blessed to be a part of their wedding day. 

Congratulations Angel and Melissa!!   

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You're Afraid of THAT??

Yesterday I read an article on my local news page that just up the freeway from my house, a small plane had to make an emergency landing ON THE FREEWAY!  I immediately shared the story on facebook with a satus update:

"EFF.THAT. I'm sweating just thinking about it."

To which I get the usual responses questioning why this would bother me.  You see, friends, I have a fear of low-flying aircraft.  Most aircraft in general, but the lower they are, the more I sweat.  I have no problem being inside of a plane.  I do not fear flying.  But if I have to, say, walk out on the tarmac and board the plane using one of those step ladders instead of a normal terminal-to-plane-door setup?  Pit stains.

People don't understand this fear.  They think it's irrational.  I don't care.  The lower a plane is, the easier it can crash into the ground, sending fire-y debris flying all over the place.  Let me give you a few examples.

I sometimes drive to work down a two lane country road that splits rice and produce fields.  At the far end of this road, there is a crop dust plane port.  Every morning these bastards are low-flying back and forth over the fields (and the road I am trying to drive on) to dust the crops.  It's like they are taunting me, laughing in my face.  A few months back, one of these planes crashed and the pilot did not survive.  This happened.  In a field not far from the ones I drive by at least 3 times a week.  Too close for comfort friends.

Another recent incident was an SUV that was driving out to a private runway and a plane flying in or out was low enough that it slammed into the SUV.  Granted, I don't make it a habit of driving anywhere near private runways, but still, you get the point.

And then there is this issue from yesterday with the plane LANDING ON THE FREEWAY.  Can you imagine seeing that in your rearview mirror?!?!?  Or being the car behind the plane coming in for an emergency landing?  No.effing.way.  I would probably have had a heart attack or passed out from the panic/anxiety. 

I also don't like the fact that they are so obnoxiously loud.  I think the size + the loud noise makes my heart race even more.  I remember when my brother was going through the police academy, they had a family night for the cadets to invite family to come out and see what they had been doing in the program.  We were standing outside talking afterward and the police chopper did a low fly-by.  I almost shat myself.

And if you know anything about current events and saw the news about the recent space shuttle Endeavor being piggy-backed onto a 747 or some other monstrous plane to be flown from Texas to LA?  They did a low fly lap around downtown Sacramento on their way.  People were outside for miles and miles, on top of freeway overpasses and all that just to catch a glimpse of this disaster.  You know who wasn't out there?  This girl.  The only one left standing after the plane crashed and killed ALL of the innocent bystanders and took out every building in downtown Sacramento...

Okay, that last part didn't happen.  But it could have...

Seriously, the people that were sending around pictures of that thing in all its glory afterward, might as well have been sending me a picture of a trantula.  No.Thank.You.  My blood pressure went up looking for pics to post here.

Sooooooo, that's my irrational fear.  Do you have any fears that make complete sense to you, but make others think you are coo-coo for cocoa puffs?

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