Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#Reverb13: Merry Christmas

Instead of a Reverb prompt for today, I wanted to instead wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Hope you all have a wonderful time with your families and Friends!

Merry Christmas from Hefinator and Caveman!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

#Reverb13: Vacation

Another prompt from the lovely Hope from besottment by paper relics.
What was your most memorable trip in 2013?
Who were you with? Where was it? Why was it memorable?
This year, the Caveman and I took a honeymoon vacation. When we got married in 2012, it was so quick that we didn't get to take a vacation. So this year, we planned a 5 day vacation in Vegas for our honeymoon and I planned it over the weekend of Caveman's birthday.

Caveman is a huge fan of the Blue Man Group and has always wanted to see them live, so when I booked the trip I managed to score 2 free tickets to any Vegas show - and of course I picked the Blue Man Group. We didn't go see them until the night of Caveman's birthday, but we stayed in the same hotel, the Monte Carlo, that they perform and got to watch the parade they have around the casino floor each night! Even better is that when we were walking in for the show, we got a major upgrade in our seats and were way closer than what we got. For free tickets, it was amazing!

What made the trip extra cool was that one of my best friends and her husband (who played DJ at our wedding) came for the first couple days of the trip to help celebrate! Shopping, drinks, and good times with some great friends! It was a much needed and amazingly eventful trip! And, with the same friends that went with us, we decided to do at least a weekend trip to Vegas each year for one of our birthdays! There is SOOO Much to see and do in Vegas and we've only just scratched the surface. Its a great way to escape for a couple days and just let loose!

Friday, December 13, 2013

#Reverb13: Gathering

Today's prompt comes from Hope over at besottment by paper relics.

What was the most memorable gathering you attended (or held) in 2013?
The most memorable gathering from this year was a party at my Auntie Ardie's before Josh and I moved to Idaho. It was one of the rare times where ALL my cousins were together. We were still missing some of our family, like my Grammy, my parents, brother, sister, and my aunt Kelley. but overall, it was a great event! All the kids of the kids were there, there was food and good time. We all shared memories of when we were kids and as we were growing up.

I don't always get to see my cousins, so having us all together is great. It reminds me of when we were all younger and would hang out at Grammy and Grandpas in the summer or get together for holidays. There was just so much love and so many memories in that one gathering that I hope one day we can do a big family reunion with everyone!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

#Reverb13: Habits

Taking it back to the olden days of #Reverb to a post from 2012 I want to revisit.

What is the single most important habit you intend to cultivate in 2014?
I set this one in 2013 and after reviewing it, I failed! I said I would develop a morning routine. Anyone who knows me, knows I am NOT a morning person. So, waking up at the butt-crack of dawn to get ready for work usually involves some hap-hazard dressing, brushing of teeth, quick brush of hair and maybe, not always, a bite to eat before I would head out on my way to work.

Now, while I look presentable and not smelly or dirty, its just not enough anymore. I need to be consistent on eating breakfast in the morning, because I know when I'm not that's when my snacking urges come throughout the day. I don't have a skincare routine, its usually just wash the face with soap and go - which I'm starting to see the negative effects of this. And the hap-hazard dressing? It just won't cut it anymore in my new role. I need to be up, alert, and presentable. Being in a lead role requires me to have a morning routine or I will just look like a hap-hazard goof!

So with that - 2014 will be the year of the morning routine! The goal is by the end of the first quarter, to finally have a morning routine that does the following:

  • Wakes me up
  • Makes me eat breakfast
  • Makes me coordinate my clothes
  • Have a skincare routine so my face is bright and pretty
  • Prepares me for the busy days I'm guaranteed to have!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

#Reverb13: Boldly Go

When I saw the title of today's prompt, I thought we would be talking about space - boy was I wrong! :)

What challenges lie ahead in 2014? How might you meet them boldly?
I thought 2014 would be an easy year. And already I'm finding that I was completely wrong! With a new role at work, and new responsibilities, I'm already seeing pockets of time where I am going to face struggles. Working through contracts, cultivating relationships with people on a different level than I'm used to, and finally putting all this business and drafting knowledge to its full test! Its new and exciting and I'm ready to take it all on and push through it! I know if I can get through it all, then I will be wiser and more prepared for each new challenge as the year progresses.

And work isn't the only challenge. I set a goal to Graduate this year. Until May 15th, I fear my free time will be wrapped up with completing the last 6 classes I have to finish. Its going to be rough, as these final classes are intense! But they will wrap up my Bachelor's in Business Management and put me on the path I know is right for me. A path that has taken me a lot of searching to get to, but one I know provides the most fulfillment for my life. I know it will be a difficult road to get to the end, but I know I have the support I need to push through and accomplish my goal!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

#Reverb13: Autopilot

Reading today's prompt really struck hard. So much of life is repeatable that sometimes you don't even notice it!

Living life on auto-pilot can feel disorienting and dull. How did you cultivate a life worth loving during 2013?
How can you turn off your auto-pilot button in 2014?
So much of this year has been wash-rinse-repeat. For the first part of the year it was wake up at 5am, get ready for work, go to the bus station, spend an hour and a half on the bus (usually standing room only), get to work, work 9-10 hours, get back on a bus home (again, standing room only) and get home roughly 6:30pm - from there I would attempt to make dinner, or order in, sit with my laptop and do some studying, and then go to bed. It was the same, every day. On the weekends, I might get out for a little bit with the Caveman, but chances are I was working on the house cleaning and laundry that didn't get done during the week and then studying more. The disadvantage of accelerating through my program is that my homework load is more than I've ever had before. 20-30 hours of studying a week, on top of a full time job, I just didn't have time for anything else this year. Even after we moved and I worked from home, I still had a similar schedule. And I found that because I didn't have a commute anymore, I worked more hours trying to get things done. My previous 40-50 hour work weeks were turning into 50-60 hour work weeks. And then, because of Caveman's work schedule, I didn't have a car to go do anything when I finished work or the weekends.

I missed out on a lot in 2013 by being on auto-pilot. There was no cultivating of anything. I let a stale routine dictate my life. I let other forces control what I did on a daily basis. It wasn't fair to me or for the people around me. With all the positive that came in 2013, overall it was a very dull year.

In 2014, I will still have a routine. I need some sort of routine to get things done - but I'm going to be open for the spontaneous events. I'm going to end my 'Day' when I leave the office and see what happens for the evening. I'm going to force myself out of my house on the weekends, even if just to take the dogs for a walk.

Monday, December 9, 2013

#Reverb13: Inspiration

Today I decided to only do half of the prompt. But regardless, its still a great response!

Who inspired you in 2013? And why?
This year, a close friend suffered an event that most people wouldn't recover from. My husbands dear friend Luis, the man who married us, who I consider my friend as well, suffered a stroke earlier this year. For a man who is far more active than the average human being, it was a hard thing to understand for some of us.

Being a man of pure joy and excitement, it was hard to learn of this event. But then, he started posting on Facebook. iPad in hand and a determination to keep forging ahead, he posted updates daily about his progress! this is a man who was not going to let a little thing like a stroke bring him down. It was awe-inspiring how he handled the situation and didn't let it bring him down (at least he didn't let it show).

This is a man who less than 3 months after having a stroke, he ventured for the road trip and ensuing camping event to attend Burning Man! BURNING MAN!!! I'm a perfectly able person and even I haven't made that adventure!

Luis is an amazing person. His courage, strength, patience, and humor are extremely motivating! I can only hope that one day I can be as proud of my life as he is with is!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

#Reverb13: Popchix Community!

I thought today I would do another throwback prompt from the early #Reverb days. This prompt comes from Cali Harris from the first #Reverb back in 2010.
Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with next year?
While I've been a member of the Popchix for a couple years now - none have been more involved than this year! Popchix is a social group for woman who play video games and all the things that interest us. And we come from all over the world, with varying ages, skills, lives. Its a hodge podge of awesome all mixed together!

For over a year now, there has been a huge refresh of the community page and the people involved. And this year, I've become more involved by participating in more posts, writing articles, connecting more with the ladies involved, and really developing some super awesome friendships! Its a community where I finally feel like I belong. It took me a while to find my comfort zone with them, but now I couldn't imagine not having this group in my life! I only hope that next year brings more awesome things for all of us!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

#Reverb13: Reveal your selfie

This one took me a while, as there were a LOT of pictures taken this year. Even better is while normally I don't like my own picture taken, this year I actually started warming up to the camera more. I think I found a picture that truly is the best from 2013!

Please post your favourite picture of yourself from 2013, self-portrait or otherwise!
So - I couldn't pic just one! I actually have 2 favorite pictures of just me from this year, for 2 very good reason. There is the 'peaceful' me and then there is the 'wild' me. And these two pictures capture each side! (*note: I'm not very 'wild' - but get me in any form of arcade and I'm a wild winner!!*)

A summer evening walk around Lake Union - totally my element: Sunshine, Water, and Peace!
Happy Birthday to me! Take me to an arcade and I'll be a ticket winner ALL NIGHT!

Friday, December 6, 2013

#Reverb13: Memories

This year, there were tons of memories. I spent a lot of time with friends and family. I had a number of accomplishments and good times. I had a lot of rough times that are memorable because of the learning experiences. But nothing compares to some memories from this year.

Which memories from this year do you wish to keep with you always?
Here is my cheesy moment of the year. While there are a lot of memories that I will keep from this year, the memories I am enjoying the most are the ones with my niece and nephew, Reyna and Ken. I love those 2 kids so much! my best friend and her hubby made 2 amazing children that I love to spoil like crazy! This year in particular, I have been able to spend way more time with them than previous years. And the best part is that they are old enough now to remember spending time with me!

I get so excited when I get to visit them, because even if its just a short visit, its still time with them that I get! I get to see them tomorrow when I go down and visit for my best friends birthday and I can't wait! This month is a rare occasion where I get to see them 2 weekends in a row! Next weekend I get to go down and celebrate early Christmas with them, since I won't be in town for this year. My best friend and her husband work so hard to take care of their family, so for me it is such a joy to be able to buy some things the kids want and/or need that maybe mom and dad can't get them. They never know the difference, but I know their parents appreciate it and it warms my heart to be able to help such amazing people in my life!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

#Reverb13: Risk

I was so excited when I saw today's prompt! Boy is it relevant to this year! I could write about it all day, but instead I'll keep it short and sweet!

What was the greatest risk you took in 2013? What was the outcome?
Most people who know me know that my family (mom, step-dad, brother, and sister) all moved to Idaho when I was 20. So for the last 9-ish years, I haven't lived near them. I've talked about moving to Idaho but never have ripped the band-aid off and just done it.

In February of this year, Caveman and I were in Idaho for our regular trip. We've talked about possibly moving to Idaho one day, but never really seriously talked about it. After the first day of our week long vacation in Idaho, he comes up to me and asks when we were moving - in all seriousness!! Before we left that week, we had a plan to save money and move when our lease was up in June, a plan to talk to my company about letting me work remotely, had started house hunting, and Caveman was already applying for jobs!

I don't want to get into all the details, cuz I could be here all day, but there were 1000 things that could have gone wrong with us moving. Thankfully not all of them happened, but it also wasn't all sunshine and roses with our move. Its been a huge learning experience for us. The whole move was a giant culture shock. We are city kids who live in a technology world (heck, i WORK as a technology consultant!) and suddenly we were living in the mountains on a dirt road with dial-up speed internet. Yes, we were closer to my family, but that didn't take away that the daily routine, the area we were used to, and the way of living we had lived for so long were all turned upside down!

After just 6 short months, we are moving back to Washington. However, the move back was prompted by a once-in-a-lifetime promotion and significant raise from my company. Something I did not want to miss my chance to take and advance my career. Its sad that we only were in Idaho for 6 months, but the opportunities this new endeavor provides means that I can visit my family far more frequently than what I was able to previously!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#Reverb13: Letter from My Heart

Today's #Reverb prompt from Kat McNally is about listening to your heart. I listened and here is what it had to say.

What does your heart have to tell you?
Hey, you - yeah, YOU! Are you listening to me? Good. Boy do we need to have a talk. I know we haven't always been on the best terms, but I have some things I need to get off my chest. We've had some fun! We enjoyed the company of others and I introduced you to a whole group of wild and fun people. I even brought in people who you still hold dear and talk to with daily! But that's not what I want to talk about. 
I know, I know - I led you down some rough paths in the past. I apologize. I know that I let some people in who tried to destroy us. But if you think it hurt you, think about how much it hurt ME? I'm the one who was left crumbling to pieces when people left, when damaging words were sent our way, when horrible acts came our way. When you thought your world was dark, it was because I was hiding and crying in a dark corner. I feel like I let you down and I felt horrible about it. I'm sorry. I hope you know that. I never meant for us to get hurt. I never meant for people to harm us. I never meant for either of us to be sad. And when those things happened, I took the brunt of it.  
But YOU weren't any better. You kept me in the dark and closed the door. You locked me away and prevented me from healing. You blamed ME for all the pain and wouldn't let me come out anymore. I had to peek through the keyhole to see what was going on in your life, in OUR life. That's not the way our relationship is. Its not how it should work. I understand I let a lot of pain come our way, but you didn't have to punish me in the process. 
But even after all the pain, I have to thank you for finally letting me out. I learned a lot while I was hiding in the dark. I learned that I hurt you and needed to start thinking about US, instead of ME. I learned that I need to rely on other parts to make a decision. I realized that I needed to listen more and talk less. I think I've made up for the past. I've kept the good people in our lives and purged the bad ones out. I hope you don't mind - I felt it was for the best.  
And the best part, I brought someone into our life who was able to fix me! I feel like a brand new me! He sure is an awesome fellow. And I know that you like him too, because you let him join me in here - now its like a party all the time. Me and him are like 2 peas in a pod - having fun and enjoying every adventure that life throws at us.
I'm sorry for the pain in the past. I'm sorry for letting those other people in. But I'm happy that we learned from those situations and are able to be whole again! 
I love you. 
Your Heart

Monday, December 2, 2013

#Reverb13: One Word

For today's #Reverb I wanted to go back to where it all began, to the first prompt that started it all: One Word.

Encapsulate the year in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures next year for you?
I've chosen a lot of words over the last 3 years: Growth, Obstacles, Adventurous. But the one word that really captures 2013 is Change.

For me its not just the little changes, its the big changes too. This year, I picked up my whole life and moved it to another state and by the end of this year, I will have picked up everything and moved back to where I started. In between all that came serious changes at work. Lots of ups and downs, worry, contemplation, but culminating in a promotion of unimaginable awesomeness that all I see is more learning and growing in the future. All the while change came in my relationships, in my friendships, and in my marriage. Thankfully they have all mostly been positive changes, but its proof that change is everywhere and change can be good.

One year from today, when I sit down in December of 2014 and really look back at my year, I would like to have to say that my year was Claryifying. I feel there is so much that I need to sift through to really be able to feel comfortable in my own body and mind. Next year I will be 30, and there are many things I want in my life that I haven't yet accomplished because I've been working through the muck and procrastinating. I'd love to be able to finally organize and prioritize my time and efforts. I'm hoping 2014 will be the year where internal change happens to receive the clarity I need!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

#Reverb13: Its the first day!

It's December, which means its time for #Reverb - a time to reflect on the year gone by and to set your mind, body, and soul at ease, ready to take on the coming year. This is my 4th year participating in #Reverb  and for the most part, I will be following the prompts provided by the lovely Kat Mcnally, who I followed last year as well. This year, I am really eager for #Reverb - I always feel so much clarity after a month of reflection and I really need that clarity in my life right now! So, without further ado - Day 1!

How do you feel, on this first day, in your mind? In your body? In your heart? In your soul?
In my Mind: My mind feels cluttered. There are so many thoughts, ideas, worries running rampant that I just feel cluttered. Its hard for me to pull the pieces apart and really examine what I need to lately. I am going through a major life transition right now, with a major move again and a huge work promotion, that everything else seems to be lost in the muddled mes of finding a home, learning new work tasks, and trying to stay caught up in school.

In my Body: Dear Body - please forgive me for treating you like such utter crap over the last year. I've fallen off the proverbial weight loss wagon, I've fed you miserable foods, I've not gotten enough sleep and over all I've neglected you. I am doing my best to find my footing again, to get you back to right again - just please bare with me. I promise that in the coming weeks, we will have our routing back, our healthy meals back, and plenty of exercise to keep you running smoothly.

In my Heart: There is no way to express the love in my heart. The rest of my being could be falling apart and an utter mess, but my heart is so full of love its unreal. My husband fills my heart with so much love and joy to keep me satisfied forever. but more than my husband, the love of my family and friends and the love I have for all of them. I'm truly blessed with the people I've chosen to have in my life, the people I keep in my life and those I spend time with. Its a wonderful feeling lately to have so much love in my life, when I think about the times where there was such darkness in my heart.

In my Soul: My soul needs some repair. To my, my Soul is a reflection of my Mind and Body - and as you've seen, they are in bad shape lately. I feel full, but incomplete. I feel over joyed, but lost. My soul is searching for a sense of meaning in between so many things going on in my life. Its been a roller coaster year and as a result, so many parts of me are in desperate need of attention. I need to start doing things for me. Paying attention to ME. Taking care of ME! Hopefully, at the end of this month, I will have better footing to start 2014 and to begin healing parts of me that need attention.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Find a man who will take care of you!

"You need to find a man who will take care of you!"

I've been hearing this phrase a lot lately. I have a number of friends who are single - some of them ending long term relationships that didn't work out, some of them getting divorced after realizing he wasn't the one, and some of them who still haven't found Mister Right Now and are waiting for Mister Rest of my Life.

By all means, I think every woman needs to find a man who will take care of her - the problem is the follow up to this phrase. Things like "Make sure he has a lot of money", "Make sure he makes enough that you can stay home", "Find a man who will buy you what you want in life". Why do people feel that men are only able to take care of a woman financially? I understand that if that's what you and your partner decide to happen, that's fine - but to set that as a goal in the beginning just gives me a twitch!

Why can't we tell women to find a man who will take care of them when they feel they have the plaque and look like they were run over by a bus? Or how about find a man who is willing to care for you during your seasonal depression days? Find a man who will take care of you when you just found out your grandma died and you are devastated. Find a man who will take you to Panda Express for your anniversary instead of a 5 star restaurant, because its more of who you are!

This phrase has been drilled into me since I was a teenager - when you look for the man you will spend your life with, find a man who will take care of you! I heard it from my parents, from teachers, from parents of friends, and even from older friends I made as I got older. Now, I'm no crazy feminist, but whats wrong with me taking care of myself?! Or better yet, why can't I take care of HIM??

You know what the most frustrating part of all this is? People still continue to tell me I need to find someone to take care of me - and I've been with my husband almost 5 years, married for 1! Some of the people who have said this to me are deep in my inner circle and I'm just flabbergasted by their comment.

I've known for years, since I first left for college, that I was going to have a career. I wanted to be a mom and have a family, but I would be a career woman and I would work hard for everything I have. Knowing that early in my life I also made a decision - when I'm in a relationship, I need to be with a man who is comfortable with the fact that I may make more than him! I'll admit, it was a bit rough in one relationship. The harder I worked and further I moved up in my company, the more money I made - and boy did he not like that! It caused a lot of tension from him. Sure, we were able to buy nicer things and he relished in the material items, but the fact that the woman wasn't in the kitchen making him dinner and that she made more than him was a BIG issue.

But I never wanted someone to pay for my bills and pay for my financial responsibilities! I wanted someone who love me for me. I wanted someone who would do the dishes without me asking. I wanted someone to pitch in with the house chores instead of saying that's the "woman's job". Someone who would make dinner for me after I had a rough day at work, knowing that I do the same for them!

When I met Caveman, he was exactly what I needed and wanted in my life. He was the calm to my fire! Nothing in our early days of dating revolved around finances. He didn't know or care how much I made and just treated me like a human. And the more time we spent together and more we realized that we would spend the rest of our lives together, we still never let finances control us. Even after he learned that I made significantly more than him, he still did everything he could to treat me like HE was a millionaire and I was a princess!

One thing I love the most about him is how he acts when he's not working. While my family and friends will pipe in with their comments about how he needs to be working to help me and to pay the bills and do his part - what they don't see is that he's home cleaning my house, doing the laundry, vacuuming, taking care of the dogs, has dinner ready when I get home, and on the rare occasion will make me breakfast or pack me lunch. Isn't that what any woman would want out of a man who isn't working!? Sure, he's putting in resumes, making phone calls, even an interview occasionally, but instead of just sitting at home like a blob and making me more stressed about our financial situation - he's taking care of ALL those little things that I'm thinking about in the back of my head that need to get done.

Switch the roles. Man is working, wife is home - aren't those things EXACTLY what she would be doing!? And people would praise her for being such a good wife! No one tells her that she needs to get a job and be working and helping pay the bills. She's taking care of the household while her husband is at work. She's making his life better and easier by handling the household duties. Why is it such a big deal if its the man doing those tasks?

I love my husband for everything he does. And I honestly, I feel he takes way better care of me than any guy I dated who was financially secure! When he is working, he's always there to pitch in with groceries and paying bills. When he's not, he's doing his job searches and being the most considerate house husband ever! (Side note: Caveman currently works full time hours and is gone for 12-13 hours a day, working hard! With both of us working full time, and we don't have a day off together, household chores are a bit slacking!)

Just because you feel you aren't being taken care of unless a man has money, doesn't mean the rest of the women in this world feel that. Look at the MAN, not his wallet! Look at his traits, not his bank account! Its 2013 people, not 1950! GET OVER IT!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Researching and business plan writing!

Oh boy! School is really kicking my butt right now. I just can't find the motivation to get through this Business Research paper. I sit down to write it and I instantly get distracted by thoughts in my head: work, school, life, exercise, vegas, family, money - stop!!!! I finally found the 9 sources I needed for this paper and now I'm just staring tat the screen trying to think of what to actually write!

I am currently in RWT1: Business Research and Writing. I have to pick a scenario from a list and write a research paper on it. I chose looking up compensation strategies for the HR department of a manufacturing firm. It goes beyond the research though and I have to provide one of the 3 strategies I researched as the solution for the HR department. I thought this one would be a breeze, but its coming out harder than I thought!! I found so many resources on performance-pay strategies, but not a lot for other types of compensation methods.

In the mean time, I've also been working on my business plan, which is also my final for my degree program. Our capstone project is to develop a complete business plan. Of course, I've always thought about one day having my own business, so this was a great opportunity for me to try it out. I was going to do it on a Bakery here in Idaho and do the necessary research to make it viable for after graduation. But with the way of the market lately, I have decided to do it on a consulting business of my own. Don't get me wrong, I still love my job, but every since I decided to move to Idaho and they approved me working remotely, I've been searching for how to have a back up plan. This is a pilot program and we don't even know if it will continue after my first 90 days (fingers crossed it does!!!). There was another guy at work who moved to another state recently, that they couldn't offer the remote option too, but they advised him to get set up as an independent consultant and then they could hire him for projects that needed his expertise. So I'm doing the same thing as my backup plan. If we get past my 90 days and I'm still with my company, AWESOME! But just in case, I will have this as a backup plan and be able to still bring in an income.

I feel like I'm falling behind in my goal for school. I should have 4 classes done by today and I'm struggling to finish number 3. Granted, I did MOVE in that time frame, but I really need to get back up to my accelerated speed or I won't meet my goal of Graduation by Christmas! I can do this, I know I can! So time to get my butt in gear!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

School's NOT out for Summer!

Most people get excited for Summer because it means school is out and they can enjoy the sun and the fun without worrying about homework. For me, I still get to enjoy the sun and the fun, but I've got homework daily!

I started my second term at WGU on June 1st, and since then I've finished 5 papers to pass my Quantitative Analysis class, completed 2 of 4 Econ papers, and have 1 Business Research and Writing paper to finish. I'm on an accelerated plan to finish my degree before the end of the year and I am DETERMINED to meet that goal.

Last year, I spent a number of months researching different school and degree programs. I knew I wanted to finish up my Bachelor's degree, but did I want to finish it for Teaching? For Business? For something else completley? And once I picked a degree path, which school would I go to? I wanted to find a program that would allow me to complete it mostly online, if possible. With my work schedule, finding classes I could take at a standard school was going to be difficult, and the price was not ideal.

Monday, July 8, 2013

We've Relocated!!

So, we've relocated! That's right! After a long talk in January, a visit with family, and a honest look at our finances, Caveman and I relocated to Idaho City, ID on June 22nd! We packed everything and made the drive to our new home - and what a beautiful home it is!

We are currently renting from a family friend. Its a 2 story, 2 bedroom home with a garage and a basement Mancave area! Its the perfect starter home that got us TO Idaho so that we can be closer to my family and start thinking about starting a family of our own! And yes, we have already started planning on when we want to start that family of ours! :)

After our trip and my remote worker proposal, my company approved me to work from home! Its such a welcome change and has made adjusting to living in Idaho so much easier! I am really hoping that this arrangement works out. Ideally, I would like it to work for at least a year. That gives us time to get settled and think about how the future of living in Idaho will go. Anything longer than a year is just awesome! I plan on attending a couple network events in the next month or so to try and connect with others in the field. Hopefully I can find a customer here in Idaho who can benefit from the work my company does! Fingers Crossed!

School is still going strong - I finished 6 classes last term and aim to complete more than that this term! I'm on track to have 3 courses finished in a total of 6 weeks. After those, I move on to my Project Management course and the certification exam. I'm really hoping to have it completed by mid-August. I have a lot to do to finish my program this year. I really am hoping I can get a lot accomplished! It would be such a great achievement to be completed with my Bachelor's program in just 1 year! It is also my backup plan in case my remote worker arrangement doesn't work out as long as I would like it to.

Now that our home is starting to come together, I am getting back into my normal routine. With that will come more frequent blog posts. Also more fitness related posts as I start gearing up for the Boise Color Run 5K in late August! Looking forward to it!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lemon Rosemary Broiled Chicken and Asparagus

Talk about YUM! I have never been an asparagus fan, but after finding this Lemon Rosemary recipe, call me a fan! This meal was a quick one to craft up and has become a staple to the menu! I wouldn't even be opposed to adding some mashed cauliflower to the mix!
 Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Lemon Zest Asparagus
Full of flavor! Full of Zest! and full of yum! Let's get cooking!
Ingredients for Chicken
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 lemon
Kosher/sea salt
Black pepper
Ingredients for Asparagus
1lb asparagus
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher/sea salt
Black pepper
1 lemon
1 tablespoon EVOO 

First up is set your oven to broil. This will warm up as you prepare the rest of the meal. Spread Coconut Oil over the bottom of the cooking dish. Place the chicken in the dish and sprinkle with the rosemary, sea salt, and black pepper.

Slice half the lemon into thin slices. Cut those slices in half. Place half slices on top of the chicken. If desired, squeeze a little of the juice from the other half of the lemon over the top of the chicken.

Broil for approximately 10-12 minutes.

For the asparagus, chop off the ends and rinse under water. Place on a baking sheet and toss with coconut oil. Sprinkle the asparagus with the garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. Using the half-lemon left over from the chicken, squeeze a little of the juice over all of the asparagus. Roast for approximately 10-15 minutes. While roasting, grate the lemon half to remove the zest and set aside.

Once the asparagus is done cooking, drizzle lightly with EVOO and top with the lemon zest.

There you have it! A quick, delicious, and Paleo approved! Let me know in the comments below if you tried it and how you liked it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grilled Garlic Flank Steak

As the Caveman and I started our Paleo diet, we found many recipes that we absolutely loved. So much so, that even after we started adding more grains recently, we decided to keep some of the full Paleo recipes in our routine! This recipe happens to be one of our favorites. It's simple and absolutely delicious! This recipe was found in the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.

Grilled Garlic Flanken-style ribs with Peppers and Onions

So far we have paired it with a nice spinach salad, mashed cauliflower, and even some asparagus. All three are an excellent way to add some side flavor to an already scrumptious meal! Additionally, you can use regular flank steak or even flank ribs. I haven't yet tried this on my outdoor grill, but it works fantastic on a broiler pan in the oven. Now let's get cooking!
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5-2lbs flank steak
sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon bacon fat, butter, or coconut oil
1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 bell pepper, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

First up, begin preheating your oven on the Broil setting. While the oven is preheating, season the steak with the sea salt and black pepper. Once seasoned, massage the garlic into the steak. Place the steak on a broiler pan and cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side. If finished before the rest of the meal, place to the side.

For the veggies, melt oil in a large skillet of medium to medium high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook until soft and slightly browned on the edges. With the onions and peppers cooked, make a bed of the mixture on a plate. Slice up the steak and serve over the veggie mix.

My favorite side is a nice crisp salad with spinach, cucumbers, carrot, grape tomatoes and a nice balsamic dressing. The flavor combos of the salad and the steak blend perfectly!

So there you have it! The first Paleo recipe the Caveman and I tried and absolutely loved! Try it yourself and let me know how you like it! I've love to know any variations made as well!

Friday, April 5, 2013

School, Diet, Life - Where did the time go!

Hello Blog-o-sphere! Long time, no chat.

Boy have things been busy!  I know I've been feeling a little lost lately and figured I'd come back and share with you all. I finished out #Reverb12 and since then I've been going a million miles a minute!

To summarize, I started my my bachelor's program for Business Management, I wrote my first article for PopChix, I spent 10 days in Idaho with my family in January, Caveman and I decided that we are moving to Idaho in June, I proposed a remote worker arrangement for my job and they approved it, registered for the Color Run in Boise, we started a 30 day Paleo diet challenge, and I celebrated my 29th birthday!

Wow - its only been 3 full months into the new year and already I've accomplished so much! Its time to get back to my writing - back to my sharing - back to my updating!! I'll stick to writing about what I know - recipes that I love, my weight loss challenge, and now the joys of being a college student again!

Keeping it simple for my first foray back into blogging. Looking forward to the weeks to come!