Week in Review: Epic Food & Party Planning

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Greetings folks! Howdy. Congratulations for making it through another glorious week.

Wanna share your week? Our hostess with the mostess is the Queen Bee of this Week in Review linkup, so check her out here to see how to join the shenanigans.

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that was my strategy this week: stay alive

This past week felt NUTS. I can’t complain, everything that is going on and that I’m organizing is good stuff. However I’m blaming my hormones because there were a few mornings where I was a little short, and I  don’t mean my 5’2″ self… needless to say, my hubby got major cookie points for being super patient.

I’m going back to categories, so here’s my week in the following groups:

  • Food
  • Fitness/Health
  • Home/Dogs
  • Work
  • Party Planning

Food: 

I’ll begin with my favorite one, and that’s food. Yes, food! I feel like we ate really well this week. By well I mean pretty much home-cooked meals with a few fun things thrown in, like a huge burger one night. I ate the whole thing myself, took no picture, and sort of felt amazing. I guess my body really wanted that burger; my husband was impressed.

Food I prepped ahead:

  • Broccoli
  • Cooked broccoli noodle slaw
  • Steamed Japanese Sweet Potatoes
  • Sauteed Indian Tofu
  • Squash Chili
  • Cashew Cream
  • Avocado mash

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We ate a lot of butternut squash chili with avocado, broccoli and potatoes, eggs…

and one night my hubby cooked us stuffed poblano peppers with cheese, eggs, and mushrooms. talk about heaven!

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On Tuesday I took my mom out for lunch for a belated birthday treat – we went to this incredible French bakery. To say the food was good is an understatement. It was tres bien, magnificent!!! Salad, onion soup piled with a mountain of cheese bread, and berry tart. MMM

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There were also divine eats on Friday night at a birthday dinner with the most delectable Italian Cream birthday cake that I’ve had in my life. It was that good… usually I’m not much of a cake person and just go for icing, but this cake was filled with pecans, shredded coconut, and just tons of spices and vanilla. SO good.

Saturday we had more incredible eats at a neighbors’ dinner party – they invited us over for a Game Night of Cranium and Exploding Kittens. Since our neighbors our following a Whole 30 way of eating, the food they prepared was free from processed foods, dairy, and grains. Whatever you call it, it was all DELICIOUS and I enjoyed every singe morsel.

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Sunday was another food frenzy with my mother’s belated birthday dim sum brunch, where a group of 9 of us shared about 30 dim sum plates. It was painfully good.

Needless to say, all of my cravings and happiness buckets were filled this past week. My belly is smiling.

Fitness/Health:

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I’ve been running 2-3 days a week now, anywhere from 2-4 miles. It feels good because I’m just letting my body do it’s thang. I’m putting more attention on rest and not stressing, and if I feel worried that I’m not doing enough, I simply take a bath, make some food, read a book, or work. Yep, my body and I are better friends now 🙂

Monday and Wednesday I had a nice 30 min jog, then on Sunday I tried for longer and got up to 60 minutes. Sunday’s run was exhausting! I was so wiped out that I took a bath and napped before dim sum.

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Friday I went on a 2.5 hour walk and was more exhausted from that than any of the running. I love walking but there is such thing as too much! No complaints, but made a mental note.

Home/Dogs:

On the home front, I spent Monday frantically doing all the laundry and cleaning bed sheets because I am obsessed with sleeping on clean sheets. If it was possible, I’d sleep on clean sheets nightly, but alas I’m willing to wait 1-2 weeks so I don’t drive my husband more insane with my obsessions.

I also attempted to arrange some festive decor in the apartment – which pretty much just meant I put a tree on the island and removed everything else. I also put a tree on the entry table. I clearly went out of my way… :/

The dogs were very present this week and responsible for some of the overall craziness of the week. We’ve both been sleep deprived – my husband has been studying each night after dinner till 1am, and I have had bouts of insomnia. Every night DJ has been itching himself and driving my husband insane, and Muffin has had a hacking cough that I thought was a hair ball. These antics eventually led us humans to having a big fuss about taking them to the vet, then stressing that neither of us have time. Then realizing I would have to make time, then scrambling… all to have Mr. Human declare that they seem better and let’s wait a few days. Okay!

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Another major change in our household this week is that my hubby declared he didn’t want the dogs sleeping with us anymore in the bed – he has been having trouble sleeping due to DJ’s itching and the dogs have been yapping at each other all night. Well, on Thursday I finally gave in and let him take the dogs to sleep on the sofa. I had to put myself to bed first so I wouldn’t start crying… after I was asleep, he went to bed and left the dogs. I woke up 7 hours later after a deep sleep was surprised how well I slept. I felt so thankful! Then after my journaling, I ran to open the door and let the dogs in… I couldn’t help myself. Cuddling with them in the morning just makes me happy. I’m a big wuss 🙁

We decided to let the dogs join us over the weekend… after one night of sleeping in the living room, they have calmed down. I love their cuddly bodies so I’m happy.

Aside from itchies, coughs, and sleep changes, the pups got some decent walks and a trip to the park. Followed by a good bath on Thursday and really long walk on Friday – part of my epic long 2.5 hours of walking.

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Work:

work was work, end of story 🙂

Party Planning:

Now for the fun parts! I got spend a great deal of time trying to organize a bachelorette party for my best friend of 20+ years…  I found out this week what she wanted to do, and I have essentially 2 weeks to organize it. Her wedding is in January and I think between the holidays and her children and her stepson’s schedules, there was only one weekend she could get away and have some much deserved fun.

So Lucky Me, I am the party planner! and even luckier for me, she already knew what she wanted: a Santa Themed Texas Winery Tour. She had it all picked out and booked, I  just needed to coordinate the rest: hotels, trip to Austin, invites, meals for the weekend, transport, fun things after the wine tour… yeah no biggie. NOT! I was freaking out, but I think I’m better now… I got into my super duper party planning mode, made quick decisions, and so far we have hotel booked and dinner and brunch reservations. I drafted the Evite and sent them out, as well as emails to the girls with more details. What I still need is to go to a party supply store and get party stuff, costumes or matching Santa outfits, and other party things. And somehow make little gift baskets…

The other thing I’m sort of freaking out about is that I need to write cards to my family and I haven’t even bought said cards. At some point when I’m running around like a maniac, I must get cards and send them out. Then I had another idea to make cards online. Anyone used Shutterfly? it’s a bit pricey but seems fun. Seems like something a married couple should do. LOL

I used to just give everyone gift cards for everything, but for some reason I feel like I need to get people some useless crap that I think they might like. I don’t know why, I just feel compelled to send an actual gift.. they can do what they like, but I’m also feeling like this is a personal challenge: buy family gifts that they LOVE and will actually use. ha!

Will I make history with my gift buying skills? to be continued…

Some random pics from the week…

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Your turn:

Ever used Shutterfly and made cards, or something similar? 

Do you buy gifts or gift cards? 

Have you planned a Bachelorette party in 2 weeks??? 

Have you ever been to a bachelorette party out of town? 

 

 

Week in Review: Little India, Food Love, & Old Beer Factory

Thank you Meghan, aka Mama To Be, aka Vanilla Gorilla, for bringing us party animals together to share our lives this past week on your fabulous linkup. To join the fun, click here.

Before we begin, I can’t go on without acknowledging our beloved Paris and all those beloved souls across the oceans… what a tragedy.

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Now for the week in review… I made it through another week! for that I really feel that I deserve something special… I’ll take some cashew cream, my current obsession…. or the chewy chocolate pecan cookies from Michele would be an even greater prize.

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This last week has been so busy! Instead of breaking it down into categories, I’ll break it down by days of the week. It’s easier for my brain that way.

 

Monday: vet stop, Little India, and shopping 

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this is what they recommended
doggies
they were so happy to be there, how strange!!!

 

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it’s expensive stuff, but he is still licking his butt :/

vet

 

This was a fun day! in the morning I took my fur children to the vet to check out some new lotions and shampoos, and see why DJ has been so itchy. He had to get a shot, but he took it like a champ. Great job sweetie! our new vet is wonderful, we’re so happy to have found her when we moved back to Houston.

 

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Then I met some friends and we drove to Little India. The best part of living in Houston is that we have such diverse communities, and our ethnic areas are superb!

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We started off with having lunch at Mezban, which was considered an “Indo-Pakistani” restaurant, and I couldn’t believe how delicious and perfectly seasoned everything was! I didn’t take photos at all so you’ll just have to forgive me and accept the pics I grabbed online. They are good examples of what we saw, did, ate, and bought.

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After lunch we went shopping at a Sari store where I bought pashminas and jewelry – I sort of got outta control… oops.

 

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sari mania!!
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i went crazy with the jewelry and bangles

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After the shopping, we went to an Indian sweet shop and I loaded up on a box of assorted Indian sweets and had some Chai. Heaven!!!

 

 

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i heart Indian sweets!

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Tuesday: dog park & new book

Tuesday morning I took the little ones to the dog park and let them run around, they loved it of course.

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after i returned from work in the evening, my hubby told me a package had arrived. my new book! i’m so late to the game on this one… have you read it?

new book

i also have a picture of my lunch – eggs. i can’t seem to eat enough eggs these days. fried, scrambled, omelette.. i love me some eggs. and butter!

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my lunch of eggs, butter, and herb pate

 

Wednesday: dog groomer, Trader Joe’s, work

Bright and early Wednesday morning, I dropped off the pups at the groomer. Then I went to run a couple of errands, then went back and stopped into Trader Joe’s before picking them up. I hadn’t felt like grocery shopping in a while, but I had a secret wish to get a cinnamon broom stick from TJ’s and just HAD to go in. Of course I bought a bunch of groceries because that’s just what happens when you go in there.

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cinnamon broom
we stuck ours in a vase… it works!

So I finally have food in our fridge, can you believe it??? it’s been too long sort of due to #pizzanightforever

But see for yourself:

groceries

I also got some toxin free toothpaste – I’m trying to go “au natural” with my body/beauty care products. Anyone else like this stuff?

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After shopping, I got the dogs, sprinted home than ran off to work. It was a long day!

Thursday:  short jog with dogs and then work work work

I woke up early enough to take the dogs on a 2 miles walk/jog and felt pretty good. I’m still easing my way into running so it’s nice to just relax and go with it.

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random flower pic i took after our run

 

While at work, I came across some fun things to buy as Christmas gifts… like this:

shopping

 

After the long day, I came home and felt pumped to cook up some food from my TJ’s score. I made batches of steel cut oats that I also mixed in some chia and flax to. To go with that I boiled dried fruits and bought some coconut cream to pour on the oats. I also made vegan nacho cheese with cashews, and curried cashew cream. Lastly I made a butternut squash chili.

We ate very well! and slept well, too 🙂

 

breakfasts
steel cut oats with my boiled prunes, blueberries, ginger, and coconut cream, and maple drizzle. PERFECTION

more oats…

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curried cashew cream cheese
vegan nacho cheese

squash chili

Friday: slept in, jog with dogs, work, and date night in – and some tragic news from abroad

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Friday the 13th – a day where some feel superstitious, for me I never thought twice about it. Until this one. The attacks in Paris were just shocking, horrendous, and incredibly sad. I am praying for everyone there… the Paris I knew back in 2013 will always be in my heart and in my fondest memory box. I want to do a short post with pictures from my 10 days in Paris, during the NYE of 2013.

Back to my day on Friday:

It felt great to finally be able to sleep in, and by that I mean I got to stay in bed past 6am… oh well, I’ll take it. I started my day with dry brushing and added some essential oil – eucalyptus oil – to my brush this time. it felt great. I really love dry brushing.

Then I made breakfast for the dogs and myself, which was quite delicious (oats/cream/fruit) and then we headed out for our run and walk. The cooler temps made us all happy, the dogs were waggy and all smiles. We jogged for about 2 miles, then walked for about 2, then stopped at the park to relax. Finally we got home, I bathed them and finally myself. Then it was time for work.

Date night at home: Star Pizza! first time we tried it, apparently we are the last people in Houston to have never tried it. It was seriously good.

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Saturday: morning run! work, and dinner with friends

Cooler temps and mourning the losses overseas inspired me to take advantage of the morning and go for a run. I hadn’t run more than 2 miles in AGES and was able to jog/run 4.5 with no major issues. I felt blessed.

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that evening after I got home from work, I relaxed and then we went over to our friend’s home for a great dinner. They cooked Korean food and made bimbimbap! Which was so deliciously tasty, it’s a must try. I was having a hard time not eating my hand off while smelling the aromas of the grilling shrimps and sizzling rice. MMMM

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Sunday: wedding venue with bff & shopping

I was exhausted Sunday morning and decided to just relax instead offree dance‘ for 3 hours. Instead we took the pooches to the dog park and had brunch at home (bacon from the farmer’s market and bananas… don’t ask, it’s a good combo)

After brunch, my bff came over and we went to an open house at the venue that her upcoming wedding reception will be at. Since I’m her Matron of Honor, I had the privilege of seeing the place in all its glory. It was dazzling!!!! It’s an old beer brewery that they turned into a grand, fabulous hall. It is simply perfect for her and I couldn’t be happier.

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We were on such a happy high that we decided to take a detour home and stopped at Marshalls. I bought boots and trees… apparently I have a thing for trees!

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Sunday night was laundry, leftovers, and tv watching… I was POOPED.

So now, how was your week? 

Have you bought holiday decorations yet?

Do you like Indian and/or Pakistani food? 

Have you read that book and organized your closet?  

 

 

clotty blood and dancing with my tribe

clotty blood

a few posts ago i mentioned that i got some blood work and discovered i have factor v, the same blood clotting disorder that my father had. i tested positive for the mutation, which is the actually clotting disorder. unfortunately for my father, this is what took his life, but he had chosen to go off the medication that was prescribed. he died from a pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lung. yes, having this mutation does mean i’m at risk for have a pulmonary embolism, but there are things i can do to take care of myself and be healthy. my aunty bunny has the same thing and has never had an issue, she’s in her 70’s.

i’ll explain why i waited so long to get tested, why i decided to finally get tested, and now that i know i’m positive, what it means.

i waited so long because i didn’t want to know. i just honestly didn’t want any more ‘news’. i have no better answer than that i felt like i couldn’t emotionally handle any more intense hurdle back in 2012.

i finally decided to get tested because i’ve grown to accept all my flaws, my struggles, my health issues. i’ve grown to feel equipped to deal with what comes my way. and lastly, we want to start a family and it’s critical that i know what’s going on in my own body, before i can create a life.

now that i’ve been diagnosed as positive for Factor V, there are just a few things that i need to be cautious of. my life has not changed dramatically, but what i eat and what i do certainly has changed.

  • i now take a daily baby aspirin
  • i don’t eat kale, spinach, or anything with Vitamin K
  • alcohol is good since it’s a blood thinner, but i’m not drinking right now by choice
  • fermented foods are not good for clotty blood
  • neither is yogurt or things of that nature
  • exercise is really good – bonus

there are a lot of websites that have a great deal of information. from talking to the doctors and doing my own research, i have chosen to avoid Vitamin K and take my baby aspirin. i also am taking COQ10 that was recommended by the doctor.

as far as childbirth, i’m sure i’ll have to take some extra precautions. due to my spinal fusion i already know that i will need a C-section.

i’m now in a place where i feel information is power. i’m no longer afraid to see the truth or hear the truth. that doesn’t mean i’ll know how to react, but at least i’m not afraid to know.

here is a great website on Factor V… 

 

now on to my favorite thing….

dance!!!

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ecstatic dance

or in other words, the BEST TIME OF MY LIFE

i know people are wondering:

what the heck is this crazy dancing stuff???

how was it?

let me tell you my experience about it all with this summary:

  • the arrival
  • my outfit
  • the room
  • the intention of the day
  • the music
  • the dancing 
  • final thoughts 

overview: the ecstatic dance in Houston, TX  takes place every sunday morning from 10:30 – 1PM at Planet Funk, and then they go for a social lunch afterwards. there is more information on their site.

the arrival & rules: 

i got there promptly at 10:30am, was ever so warmly greeted, signed in and paid my $15. i felt happy, everyone was smiling!!! the guy checking me in said he assumed i was a regular… wow what a compliment.. right? i’ll take it. i must have looked super chill. ha!

then he went over the rules: 

  • no talking
  • no pictures
  • yelling and noises ARE allowed
  • touching people is allowed if they let you
  • if you put your hands up, that means no touching
  • laying down on the floor is allowed
  • rolling around like a worm is allowed
  • imitating any creature or thing is allowed (ex: a tree)
  • NO JUDGEMENT
  • if you need to talk to someone, step quietly outside
  • take breaks as needed
  • do your own thing or dance with a partner, or multiple
  • anything goes, basically: skip, jump, jiggle, roll, hop, anything!

my outfit:

for clothing, i really had no idea what to wear: yoga clothes? a club outfit? jeans? running clothes? cycling shorts? a bathing suit? my rainbow brite costume?

my friend had told me i could wear my finest glittery dress if i wanted to, but she wears jeans. she also mentioned that a gentleman usually comes wearing a red sparkly unitard and a cape… so basically i could wear WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANTED and be fine. so i wore some comfy leggings with patterns on them, rolled up to my knee because i’m short and don’t need to accent that, a fitted 3/4 inch comfy t-shirt, and a lululemon black zipup jacket. i felt comfortable yet cute, and sort of like a less talented Janet Jackson with my black jacket with the ruffles. oh yeah, i was ready to dance.

the room: 

after i got all checked in, i removed my shoes and entered THE ROOM. it was basically a large dance room with wooden floors, the lights off, music pumping, and the mirrors were covered up in large pieces of fabric. it was quite large, and there were already people swaying and dancing around. i tried not to look at anyone.. i made a beeline for the restroom and already felt shy because someone had to explain to me that i had to watch for the lights to know which restroom was ‘free’ – clearly i was new at this. busted.

after i figured out the restroom thing and used it, i entered the dance space again. the music that was playing was like a yoga trance, trip hop style. with really good beats.

from 10:30-11am is the ‘warmup’ time so i decided to stretch and try to feel comfortable in my body. i felt a little shy at first but just closed my eyes… i tried not to notice the people around me, but they did tell me that we’re allowed to watch other dancers and imitate them if we feel the need. i didn’t want to imitate people but i did watch a few, nonchalantly. i noticed there were indeed some professional dancers – they were doing all sorts of expert style modern dance moves. i also noticed a lot of yoga-like movers and dancers. i later found out that many of the attendees teach or take yoga. of course! then i noticed the others: people like me who just liked to dance, and people who were facing an immense fear and were brought there to conquer them. the latter were not moving much and kept quietly to themselves. many of the regulars were leaping around and whooping and hollering. and this was just the warmup!

at some point, we gathered in a circle, sat on the floor, and the dance leader and her partner explained to us the rules again, and encouraged us all to just relax and close our eyes and feel the music. remember: no judgement! 

closing my eyes was easy, feeling the music? not that bad. i think i got this…

the intention of the day:

when we were in our circle, it was explained that the intention of that day was ‘our inner tribe’ and balance. and the music that was being played was tribal sort of trance music. the DJ was also recognized. another thing that was brought to our attention was a water bowl – there was water in a fish bowl, with a flower in it, and they set it on a speaker. at any point, we were encouraged to come individually and hold the water bowl and close our eyes and draw the energy from it to feel balance.

no judgement!

the music: 

the music began and started out very slowly, like a yoga song that ends the class. everyone sort of spread out and did random things. i reverted back to my stretching, and decided to just let loose and let go.

after the opening song, a tribal song came which was like a trance, trip hop, tribal song. it was quite spectacular! the beats were strong and the energy of the room soared. i felt myself really enjoying it. i started to skip around, jump around, hop around, and just got funky. i was loving it! i started to laugh and felt silly, but also loved the feeling. the unitard man approached me at one point and started to shadow me, inviting me to dance with him, but i awkwardly shooed him off without knowing, and just carried on doing my thing.

the music all had a tribal beat but ranged in variety: salsa sounds. african sounds, indian sounds, european sounds. it was all so eclectic and wonderful!!!

the dancing: 

newsflash: i’m not a professional dancer. by any means. so i just did my own little funky moves that i bust out at weddings. with some 80’s and 90’s moves mixed in, and little 50 swing action. i’m a multi-style, multi-era dancer. i also loved skipping and hopping around because the tribal music was perfect for that. the most ‘random’ things i did was that i felt compelled to swing around like a monkey, pretended i was a tree of some sort and sprouted out from the earth, and during a slow song i lay down on the ground and just stretched and closed by eyes. 2 hours flew by!!! i was drenched.

the other dancers did a complete variety of things. leaping, rolling around on the floor, squawking like a chicken, EVERYTHING. there were no limits. a few dancers paired up, and some of them formed a human pile ‘of love’ or something on the floor. i’m not sure what it was, but there was just a few bodies on top of each other and happy noises. i’ll leave it at that…

final thoughts:

the dancing ended with slow, meditative music. everyone naturally came to lay on the floor and just breathe. when room was silent, the leaders brought us back in a circle and told us how great we were and thanked us. we all went around introducing ourselves, and some people shared thoughts. i just listened and felt happy inside, and hungry. they also made announcements about future events, next week, and asked for support to end animal violence by taking a nude photo behind their poster. i passed on that, but nobody pushed me. it was fine.

finally, we were free to go. there were refreshments outside on the deck and everyone was meeting for lunch at another place. i chose to go at that point, but walked to my car with another woman who was so filled with love and light. i felt totally content and happy to chat with her.

i am definitely going back, i loved it.

being able to dance freely to really interesting music was liberating.

i was with my tribe.

<3

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anyone feel like trying it? 

here is a website and maybe there are locations in your city! ecstatic dance 

ever done modern dance?

ever felt embarrassed? 

Week in Review: pizza, storytelling, & dance

it’s that time again! can you believe another week has gone by? and we’re now approaching THANKSGIVING?!!!! seriously this is my favorite time of year. i heart the holidays 🙂

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scarf weather is my favorite <3

and today i’m extra THANKful for Meghan and her Week in Review linkup – check her out and link your self on up. go on now, giddyup!

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so how was your week? aside from crazy Texas weather, i think the week was quite smashing, if i don’t say so myself. i say that as if i can take credit, but actually i owe Mr. Smith a lot of credit. and good friends and family. what can i say? i am nothing without the loves in my life… awwwwhhhhh <3

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what a busy week i had! 

Work:

work stuff – worked my butt off, thankfully it’s still there

Food:

pizza night x 2 – can’t get enough of good pie dough with tomato sauce. #nofoodrules

a perfect crust with incredible sauce = love. and a caesar salad on the side.. perfection

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i’m also obsessed with water crackers and butter

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can’t. stop. eating. these. crackers.

Home:

laundry, laundry, laundry

doggy walks and human walks – i ran 1-2 miles a few times this week, no big deal just easy easy

TV:

finished Narcos on Netflix – it’s so good i had to watch one episode per night! plus 2 episodes of Homeland. and 1 episode of Nashville and Goodwife

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need the next season NOW

Book:

One Fifth Avenue – by Candice Bushnell. it’s an old book i’ve had for ages and i just want to finish it because a) it’s long and b) i want to move on with my life, and other books 😉

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Fun stuff:

a dinner party at my godmothers’ home where there was story telling, poetry, music, piano playing, and munchable treats. it was such a fun night! there was not any picture taking, it was a very artsy and interesting crowd of about 15 guests. we even received hand written invitations in the mail and were told to bring a fountain pen. we started off mingling and being introduced to everyone; my mom and stepfather were there and also my husband. after we had enjoyed some vegan and vegetarian snacks, people took turns in the small living room standing up and telling stories in front of the baby grand piano. then there was poetry, and then finally my godmother Jacsun played a piece on the piano. it was absolutely superb! and there was so much good veggie food and merriment, i just feel so blessed to have such inspiring, interesting, and loving people in my life.

the story telling evening was inspired by the Moth which many of the guests attend on Tuesdays, you can learn more about it here…

The Moth

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ecstatic dance – thanks to a dinner party guest, i was inspired to try this dance class where you just hear music and move however you want to, for 2 straight hours. and no judgement allowed, or mirrors. it was surreal, i’ll write about it 🙂

okay folks, that’s all i got. i’m exhausted! hahaha.

so now it’s your turn:

have you ever been to a story telling night or party?

would you ever get up and tell a story to a bunch of strangers?

have you ever danced like a fool and didn’t care? 

heard of ecstatic dance? 

 

when i grown up…

 when i grow up, i want to fly to the moon!

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remember ET? i loved that movie!

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this is really intended to be a fun post. it’s also going to be short. i’m really just trying to see if any of you remember what you wanted to be when you were young, and how you’ve come along.

i love reading people’s stories and learning about other people’s lives, i feel there is something to be learned from everyone.

why am i thinking about this stuff and why am i asking? 

it was inspired from the lovely, talented, and oh-so delightful Heather with her post on being uniquely you. she’s a gifted writer by the way, and i loved that post. it got me thinking…

do i remember what i wanted to be when i grew up? 

have i even grown up yet?

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always a kid at heart

no i have not, that’s for certain.

this post had me reminiscing on what dreams i had when i was a young and still fairly innocent sprout.

from the ages of 2-11, i loved to draw and cook. and i loved to write fantasy stories. i think if i had a best friend that was not human, it was creativity. i loved using my imagination. basically, i loved playing Make Believe and would spend hours entertaining  myself with my dolls and drawing pictures, writing stories about them. eventually i got into the kitchen and loved that creative outlet as well. i remember making pancakes when i was about 6 years old and being really exited about it. i remember helping to bake cakes when i was even younger, and being so chuffed (delighted) about something coming out of the oven that we could eat.

in the 2nd grade, we were all asked to draw on paper what we wanted to be when we grew up. i took my paper and drew myself wearing a chef apron and hat, and holding a paintbrush and pen. it was so clear to me that was what i wanted! yet i managed to flounder around through life, allowing little rejections here and there, plus setbacks, to dis-way me from my original dreams. i let life get to me and scare me, and i thought i better have a backup plan.

so i got involved in the business world and tried to be someone i was not. it didn’t work out for more than a few years because i was not being authentically me.

these days, i’ve managed to start going backwards and am doing more of what i have always loved.

here are things that i’ve made a priority in my life that are authentically me:

having creative outlets

writing

writing new ideas each day

writing my gratitude list daily

being creative with my work

trying new things

getting out of comfort zone

allowing myself to learn something new

taking criticism well

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always feel the love
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i did this, for real

most important words of the day!

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okay so there you go. i hope you feel inspired or grateful in any way, and realize no matter what you are exactly where you need to be, and have everything you need to get to where you want to be.

<3

now your turn….

what did you want to be when you grew up?

do you feel like a kid?

do you do things that you loved as a kid, still? 

How To Plan a Ghetto Fabulous Wedding

getting married and don’t have much time?

want champagne on a beer budget?

think it’s impossible to have a wedding that’s amazing without losing your mind?

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i’m here to tell you, it is totally possible to have the BEST day of your life and still have fun money leftover.

but you might need to get over your idea of the perfect fairy tale.. the custom couture ball gown… a million dollar wedding cake… or diamond tiaras.

unless you have waited your whole life to have this big wedding and you don’t care about spending everything you got. then by all means do YOU. 

but i’m a different bird with different feathers.

i love parties and celebrations, and can honestly say our wedding was the time of my life and it wasn’t really that hard.

 

allow me to back up

my wedding day? 

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I know that I haven’t really mentioned this before, but when my hubby proposed and we figured out when the best date would be to have the family all together, it turned out it was less than 3 months from the proposal date, the weekend before the marathon, and right after New Year Day.

and i had just started a new job and moved into his house.

oh and my hubby, then fiance, was out of town most of the time prior to the wedding.

holy shit!

needless to say, it took a lot of open mindedness and creativity on my part.

i immediately got into planning mode and decided:

  • I wanted to keep it under $10K because we had a house remodel we were doing, a honeymoon overseas, and many other financial goals.
  • i wanted a big party.
  • i didn’t really care about the dress, just about the overall “look” and makeup..
  • low key, easy, and stress-free as possible.

so here are some things i did to create my dream day, my wedding celebration, and have a blast and not break the bank. ghetto fabulous style.

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My Recipe for a  Low Stress Ghetto Fab Wedding 

  • Venue that does it all: reception, ceremony, food, photos… everything
  • Dress – DB sale rack
  • Hair/Makeup – local awesome diva
  • Photos – friend of friend
  • Cake – local small town bakery
  • Invitations – online from Michaels

 

the venue: $

once i figured out what i wanted, which was a party with all our closest family and friends, i decided to choose the easiest venue – the country club where my in laws live was perfect – they could do the ceremony and reception there for very little $$$ since it is outside of town and during winter, right after the holidays
*** big money saving tip – venues are cheaper during the the down times and winter in some places! ***

the country club had a planner and they literally helped with everything, even the decor. and of course they did the food. that cost alone was half our budget and not much at all considering our list of 100 people.

even though we are major foodies, we felt that we could either have a foodie wedding and invite 10 people, or have a big celebration and buffet it for 100 people. we have big families and this was more about them, the honeymoon was going to be our foodie and wine adventure so honestly our wedding was a big party for everyone and ourselves. we totally nailed it 😀

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the dress: -$

i’ll be honest, i never had fantasies about the perfect wedding gown.

i never dreamed about getting married.

i literally never saw myself in this white dress of any description, and honestly i still don’t think wedding dresses are my ‘thing’

but of course when i met husband and truly fell in love, i abandoned all my thoughts and hang ups and decided “fuck it” i’ll do the wedding dress thing. for this guy, i’ll dawn the gown and do the deeds and the vows because that’s love. i felt motivated and actually wanted to share my love with someone in front of other humans. and if that means getting a gown, then so be it.

but i wouldn’t allow myself to be crazy about it, that’s just not me. at least not for a wedding dress… i’m crazy about other stuff as it is.

so, instead of looking all over the planet for a perfect dress, i decided to look for a jacket or balero. i knew i wanted to cover up all my tattoos during the ceremony if we were going to be outside in the cold, and i just don’t like seeing tattoos with wedding dresses – my personal opinion! no judgement 😉 truth: i didn’t want my photos of my ink and wedding day mingled. i had a certain visual in my mind, i’m a visual person. enough said.

so doing some searching online,  i found a beautiful balero jacket at David’s Bridal that was under $100, a gorgeous headpiece around $60, and all i needed was a dress.

since the jacket was ornate and lacy, i knew i wanted the simplest dress possible.

one lunch-break i ran up to David’s Bridal and picked out a simple dress from the sale rack, tried it on, and BOOM. i found my dress. the store attendants were in shock, but i knew what i wanted.

i spent less than 10 minutes and under $200 on my wedding dress at David’s Bridal, and i got exactly what i wanted.

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hair and makeup: $$$$

i spent some coin on the hair and makeup, i’m not gonna lie. i knew that what i really wanted was a certain look: retro glamour and old holywood. it didn’t mean a damn thing where my dress came from, it’s all about the style of the dress, then more importantly: hair and makeup!!!

so i found the best chick i could – this required scouring the internet and Yelp reviews. i found this girl and was thrilled, we hit it off over the phone and i loved her professionalism. to this day i’m still amazed and how good she was. and she was worth EVERY single bit of $$$. best part: she arrived Early!!!!! oh yeah, i love that 🙂

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photos: $

i enlisted my friend and photographer, and he definitely gave us a great deal. that was a huge cost savings. i didn’t want to have a family member or guest take photos, but this guy is a photographer friend and it worked out perfectly.

cake: -$

local bakery! i totally found a local mom and pop bakery that did breakfast rolls to do our wedding cake. total cost: $300 for the big cake and grooms cake. they were the best part of the night and i still get compliments. i’m telling you, these gems really do exist. small town goodness!

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invitations: dirt cheap

i ordered them online on the Michael’s art supply website. they were very cheap and custom designs, they were seriously perfect. i couldn’t have asked for better!

the rest of it:

having great friends and family be there for me made it all possible, and honestly all i cared about was having fun. my entire goal for our wedding day was to CELEBRATE, so with that as the focus and goal, it was really easy to make it fun and just thrown a big ass party.

so if you ever need advice or feel like it’s impossible to have a fabulous ghetto fabulous wedding… i’m your girl.

it truly was the best day of my life and the celebration was more fun than i’ve ever had.

my goal was to have fun, and i’d say goal accomplished <3

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i just can’t help myself sometimes..

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Week in Review: work, pack, travel & wedding fun!

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it’s time for another Week in Review.. i feel a sinister cackle coming for some reason, just go with it. wahahaha. it was after all the week of halloween. i love halloween.

pusheen hall
can’t get enough of Pusheen on Halloween 😀

 

what do i love as much as Halloween?

Meghan! and her blog and Week in Review linkup. she’s the ultimate instigator, veggie wizard, kohlrabi queen, and limerick spinning fairy. so thank you Miss M for bringing this on.

here’s the summary of my week in bullets:

  • work and workout stuff
  • doctor’s appointments
  • packing for our trip, and last minute shopping for a dress, ended up with 4 😀
  • our wedding weekend fun trip in Arizona!
  • halloween night at home: diners, no drive ins, and dives
  • lazy sunday with the in-laws

work and workout stuff:

this is not really fun nor interesting, but basically i had to tie up loose ends so that i could actually go out of town. this meant having some help to deal with local issues and making sure my tenants and homeowners are happy. they happy = me happy.

no pics of work stuff, but here is where i wish i was

moody 3

i can dream

for workouts i’ve been keeping it simple: get my heart rate up for 30 mins minimum and just sweat, doesn’t matter how i get there. i just do something that i feel like doing. spin, stairs, dance, whatever. it’s been fun

party
this is how fun it’s been

aerobics-dance

 

doctor’s appointments:

i’ll touch on this in a future post, but basically i had to have some blood work done. my father passed in 2012 of a blood clot, and he had a blood clot disorder. factor V. everyone in the family had the tests done back then, but i waited till now… and then i find out that i tested positive with 2 mutations of it in my blood. it’s ok, but i’ll talk more about it later and what it means…

factor v

 

packing for our trip and last minute shopping:

i decided to pack for our trip a few days early because a) i knew i’d be busy the two nights before, and b) i like getting things checked off my list early #listlover #aintnoshaminmygame

so i picked a 3 outfits from my closet and packed them, along with night clothes and airport clothes, then finally workout clothes.

i then realized i didn’t like my wedding outfits and had a mini freak out.

so i took my self to Marshall’s and hit the jack pot with not one but four dresses, total cost: $140.

the one i’m wearing here was $40 and i LOVE it

sisters and view

i don’t get to Marshall’s much or shop all that much, but when i do i feel pretty lucky: focused like a jedi, focused like a ninja. oh yeah, it’s totally mortal combat when i go shopping. i have laser focus and all the other crap just gets ignored. i’m on it like white on rice, like flies on… well you get it.

Ninja

 

wedding weekend fun:

see my last post on this here… but overall it was abso-fukin-lutely glorious in every way. sorry i prefer to curse in between words. it makes me feel better about my myself and civilized. #delusional#absofuckinglutelyright

 

halloween night: 

we finally made it home before midnight on halloween night. it was fun to see all the demons and witches walking the streets in our neighborhood, and the costumes were fun as well 😀

we were hungry so we hit up a small 24 hour diner, which was also a total dive bar. #winning

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no pics but we had fries, ranch dressing, spanokopita, and hubby had fried shrimp. i chased it down with perrier.. classy bitch here

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sunday: 

i slept in and enjoyed the morning, then eventually we drove to the in-laws for food and more family fun, it was seriously a family filled weekend! we also picked up our sweet doggy children, whom were staying with the in-laws while were gone.

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so much fun!

so that’s my week in a nutty nutshell, actually  prefer seeds. see pumpkin seeds 🙂

 

how was your week?

what was your costume?

do you like club soda or mineral water? 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Weekend Fun

pusheen hall

happy belated halloween to all! hope everyone had a fun weekend filled with tricks and treats. 🙂

we arrived to a city filled with witches and giant gumby’s and other festivities, but were too pooped to go anywhere but a 24 hour diner… that was our fun for halloween night but we had just spent 3 days celebrating in Arizona.

WEDDING WEEKEND: no phones aloud! 

last thursday morning we scuttled out of our home to embark on an incredible wedding weekend in Florence, AZ. we went off (or flew off actually,) to celebrate my brother, Frank, and his lovely Maria, joining hands in marriage on Friday, 10/30/15. it was absolutely gorgeous and fun in every way possible. i can’t think of a more perfect experience: family, the guests, the venues, the energy and vibes… it was low key but totally immaculate at the same time. There were only 46 guest and it was perfectly intimate and special. It felt so good to be alive and witnessing two people in love celebrating their lives together.

i took some photos but the bride and groom requested all of the family gatherings not to be photographed by people’s iphones.. basically they didn’t want their special weekend blasted all over social media before they were ready.

now hold up – do you realize how awesome that is????

i totally respect that. i loved not having my phone during the fun, we were actually able to engage and socialize! we lived in the moment! my family is brilliant, they deserve my attention.

but in between the events, i certainly didn’t mind taking some pics to share with you all… after all, it was a gorgeous experience i love photos to reflect upon.

 

THURSDAY: depart from home at 4:30 am to make early flight to AZ/rehearsal dinner evening

started off with a quick 30 min spin bike

then foam roll to help my back from feeling funky on the plane

and brought my lacrosse ball to sit on… heehee, it felt naughty but good. ha!

by 6am i was feeling sluggish at the airport

but when we were up in the air i enjoyed the clouds and the view from our seats!

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woke up with energy, even had time to sweat and foam roll!

 

airport am
then the energy fizzled away.. clearly they gave me decaf

 

lax ball
never leave home without this, it’s magical

views from the pretty sky..

clouds the plane

 

after we arrived we had lunch in Phoenix – the best lunch/brunch ever!!! it was at a place called The Nosh. LOVE!!!!

phoenix lunch
beets, gouda, and egg on a sourdough roll… OMG
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my hubby’s food, mine was better. hehe

then arrived the hotel and hung out with family.

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three of six sisters. 4 of us were at the wedding.

that evening was the rehearsal dinner and it was so fun, it was at a greek restaurant.

our family is asian (Filipino) and the bride’s family is Italian, so we basically ate, drank, and danced all night long each night.

no pics aloud, but trust me it was a blast.

i tuckered out early but my hubby partied with the men till midnight. whoa what an animal!

 

FRIDAY: wedding day!!!! 

i woke up early and hit the hotel gym for some sweat and movement – i gotta move my body, it just feels better when i do. just 30 mins and i’m happy.

gym hotel

took a quick walk around florence, it’s a cool funky little place in the desert!

florence museum

then we basically had some brunch and got ready the rest of the day – photos were at 3pm so we didn’t too much time to flap around. thankfully! we are all good at being late. it’s in the family blood..

since phones were not aloud during the ceremony and after, i will just post a few pics i was able to take before. and some random shots of the awesome venue.

the wedding took place at this old vinyard in the desert, and it was an absolutely gorgeous day. it simply could not have been nicer. <3

sisters
sisters
venue
the venue was on a lake with mountains in the horizon…
ld car
i love the old vintage car they left in!
cacti gifts
the cutest wedding gifts EVER
corn gifts
they yummiest popcorn, so thoughtful
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my hilarious nephews
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silliness, i’m still a kid
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i love my sis

 

Frank is a pilot for the AF and Maria is his navigator – is that not the most romantic thing EVER???? that’s how they met and they’ve traveled the world together. this map that we got to sign had pin points of all the places they’ve been… they are going to NZ for their honeymoon back packing adventure! love love love

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the map we got to sign, love this idea and seeing all the places they’ve flown together <3 

 

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la familia

sisters and view   frank and lucy

 

SATURDAY: a day in Scottsdale, AZ and a funky cool town. and FOOD 

our last day was spent saying goodbye, having 3 breakfasts as all the groups departed and wanted us to join them for food, and stopping in Scottsdale on our way back to the airport. i loved Scottsdale! the weather, the scenery, the food, the vibes. it was perfect.

in our hotel my sisters taught me the word ARBOR which in Tagalog means “gimme” and if you say ARBOR to someone, they must give it to you. so i ARBORed my sister’s shoes, and she gave them to me… don’t try this on random strangers, just loved one. 😀

arbor
arbor’ed these babies

 

a day in Scottsdale, AZ

lovely!

fnb lastday
FnB was recommended by my brother and it was hands down, the BEST. farm to table and totally amaze balls

scenes from FnB and the town

fnb wall art fnb quesadilla fnb lunch fnb juice fnb hubby fnb bbq  scotts nb view

 

Okay folks, that was our weekend in a wrap.

how was your halloween? i missed dressing up but still had fun. what did you do?