Rainy Summer Days

It’s one of those days when it feels like a Norah Jones album playing on repeat next to a whiskey short.  Monday came so soon.  Not waiting to see if plans were drawn or set.  Not waiting for the rain to run away with the weekend.  Monday came exhorting a reprise.  “Just another rainy day,” it claims.  Effortlessly lagging, it would’ve been a good day for sleep.

Instead, it turned out to be a good day for something warm and fuzzy, besides the ethanol.  So, my kitchen deliciously conjured and mind you, purposefully, a can’t-go-wrong, all-American, timeless classic family recipe: Grandma’s Chili.

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It stirred more than just our cold, hungry bellies upon the reception of warm food.  It indubitably stirred our hungry souls…

…so much that I’m hungry for more.  No.  Not for chili.  Just for more.

Consequently, in hoping words will fill in the blanks, I wrap myself in this until dreams come:

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Calling it a day at 22:30.  Goodnight.

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The Healthy Hill Climb

It feels more like a mountain at times.  In the recent past, I remember being so motivated after hearing this adage (and I paraphrase), “Today is yesterday’s tomorrow.”  I thought about this in particular since today marks the end of June and tomorrow brings the rest of the year.  We are literally halfway there.  Where does time slip away to so unnoticed?

Here’s the back story.  I got pregnant for the first time in April 2011.  I can say that my lifestyle then was far from sedentary.  Though not necessarily healthy, I was pretty active as I’ve always been my entire life.  I like to run.  I like any water activities.  I like dancing.  Working out.  Moving.  I just like to move.  Period.  After finding out about my pregnancy, I decided to maintain a healthier eating habit.  I was truly determined to better my physical well-being for the sake of the life inside me.  I managed to gain a healthy 30 lbs. eating the right things and working out and swimming daily until my overgrown belly allowed me to.  Shortly after the birth of my daughter in January 2012, I quickly lost 20 lbs. just from maintaining the same eating habit I had while being pregnant.  I added some of the beers and wines I missed drinking while I couldn’t and also some of the grease and sweets.  The remaining 10 lbs. then stayed with me.  I lost them.  Then I gained them back.  And I lost them again.  Then around September 2012, I started noticing the weight stacking on with a vengeance, and along with other symptoms, I realized that I was pregnant again.  Wow!  Just when I was just enjoying my cocktails…hahaha.  Really, it was funny.

So baby #2 wasn’t supposed to come out until the end of this month, and he decided he wanted to come out a month and a half early.  I remember around April this year thinking how much I wanted to vigorously work out and run and dance and lose weight, which I couldn’t do for two reasons: one, I was eating horribly and had gained 20 lbs. at that point in my pregnancy and two, I felt the weight I gained and was extremely physically uncomfortable with it–let alone with my bulging belly.  Since the birth of my son, I’ve lost 13 lbs., and I’ve been excitedly planning my anatomical comeback.  Yet, after realizing that I am to start this comeback tomorrow, I started feeling some unwelcome dread.

Why is it so difficult to commit to being healthy?  Hmm?

My plan is not to magically cut the weight loss string.  I want to do it the right way, which I know is synonymous to the hard way.  I have no problem committing to the workout regime I have chosen, which is P90X Classic, as I am familiar with it from previous experience.  The hardest part for me is the one in which I have to control the things my body consumes.  I like food.  I like to read about it.  I like to cook it.  And I like to eat it.  I even like watching it on tv.  Food.  Food.  Food!  I like Asian.  Italian.  American.  Mediterranean.  Indian.  Latin.  Caribbean.  Middle Eastern.  I like them all.  And did I mention the beers and wines and cocktails?  O and chocolate and coffee and cupcakes.  Okay.  I can stop.

The hill may be steep, but I think conquering the challenging climb will be worth it in the end.  I just have to constantly remind myself that it isn’t just for me now; it’s also for my family.

So here’s a bottle of Bud for my last day as a compulsive eater.  From now on, it’s all about portion control and better choices.  I will be following P90X’s 5-tier guideline of better food choices or at least doing my best to.  If interested with any information about the diet and exercise plan I am pursuing, check this out: http://www.beachbody.com.  By the way, the image above is of me looking on to the mountains of the El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico circa June 2010.  Definitely pre-pregnancy.  Definitely a post-pregnancy goal.

P.S.  That bottle of Bud might not be the last of its kind to find its way around my routine.  I’m just saying.

The Sand Beneath Our Toes

Destination: Downton Stuart.

Maybe it was the small town feel of the historic district that made me forget all about the wonderful Florida humidity.  I was literally shining from sweat as we walked around the quaint downtown.  But it didn’t matter.  We were out-of-towners in a local joint.  The Riverwalk.  The bubbly and cool boutique shops.  The historical Lyric.  The live music that filled the Saturday air with the sounds of summer.  The smell of salt as the breeze brushed us with the ocean.  Like I told Michael, the place was pretty darn romantic.

We walked by quite a few shops before deciding to visit one: Go Fish.  It was a small store with a big heart.  They sold beach lifestyle clothing and accessories, and I must admit that at first glance I wasn’t too impressed.  However, I spotted a cute, handheld wicker fan from the shop window, and I was immediately drawn in.  Upon walking in, I realized the quality of their products were topnotch and really, for the lack of better words, really cool!  I grabbed my wicker fan, looked around a bit, and decided to hit the register.  As I was in line, I noticed a random picture of some indigenous Malay-looking folks framed in a simple black wooden trim.  It noted in the bottom that the store’s products were handmade by Indonesian people living in a co-op.  Naturally, this stirred some curious interest in me, and as I waited in line longer, I finally understood the “Go Fish” jeu de mots.  The company emblem includes the company name and a little “Christian” fish symbol in the middle.  What?  I didn’t ask if they were a Christian company.  That was a given.  I wanted to know what the company was about.  Here is the short of it: Go Fish is basically an organization that provides income opportunities for the global poor by purchasing their handmade goods.  What a beautiful projection of hope for our troublesome world!  So check them out and see if they have a store near you: http://www.shopgofish.com.  Now look at my cool new fan.

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Another shop worth mentioning was Earthtones or as they refer to themselves, the Purveyors of Cool Stuff.  No magical story here.  They were just, for the lack of better words yet again, really cool!

So then we moved on.  We decided to find Hutchinson Island since neither Michael or I have ever been.  We drove on and on.  We passed a double causeway, passed a number of beaches along the way, and drove for what seemed like ages–all following my phone navigation system.  It turned out my phone was leading us to a power plant all along.  Lesson learned: never put your complete trust in technology; use your noggin sometimes, and if you prefer not to, then follow your guts.

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Yes.  We did a 180 and turned into one of the beaches we saw: Walton Rocks beach.  With our recent luck, of course this particular beach just happened to be the ONLY dog-friendly beach on the island!  What gives?!  I still managed to capture a couple of nice shots of the pro-canine shores and the unsuspecting sea.

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The next stop was some random spot on the roadside.  It was a relief for all of us having been on drive for so long.  Daddy got to fish for some spotted sea trout.  Little girl got to sink her toes in the sand.  Mommy got to sit on the cooler to feed the baby boy.  And baby boy…well…he got to enjoy his milk out in the Hutchinson wild.

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The sand beneath our toes then wonderfully became the sand in between.

I’d have to say, I could not wait to get home today.  It was a fun day, but all I wanted was just a relieving, warm shower.  And that’s what I did.  And so it is goodnight then as I again find myself racing against the moon while everyone else chase the sun.  Sigh.

Ocean Therapy

There’s nothing like driving on a whim down A1A on a lazy Friday afternoon.  After browsing through what Wellington real estate has to offer, we decided to take our talents to the oceans of Boca Raton for a different vibe.  What we found was a gem: South Inlet Park!  It was clean, shady and serene, and it even had a playground for the antsy little one.  Picnic tables abound.  Banyan trees made me feel like I was in a jungle some place else.  Fishing was definitely a plus.  And the ocean….well….

…the breezy ocean was well worth the travel time and traffic.  The ocean was well worth it all.

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We packed up the kids in the car not too long after and headed further south.  The windows were rolled down while the daddy and I belted out Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox.  Claire snacked on some whole wheat goldfish, while Christian slept away peacefully.  We adored the magnificent mansions and elegant yachts along the way and somehow found ourselves in Pompano Beach.

What?  Even Deerfield Beach?  Yes. It was at Deerfield where we saw the mouth-watering Long John Silver sign beckoning us to skip our planned Happy Meal treats.  We did.  And those hush puppies were just as good as I remembered last time I had them at the now nonexistent Okeechobee Blvd. branch.  Yumm.

The drive home was a rush as we were met with lightning, rain, and thunder on the road.  Claire was howling for dinner then, and the only thing that stopped her was me singing on repeat the Hotdog Song from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  This drove our driver daddy mad. Actually, I believe it made us all mad.

Claire was so great through it all; she got an after-dinner treat of homemade banana ice cream!  It’s simply made of fresh bananas cut up into slices and frozen.  Once frozen, magically turn it into ice cream mush in the food processor.  Voila!  Ice cream for the toddler thanks to the Sprout channel.

And then it was goodnight.  Except for me.
Happy weekend!

First Post

Writing as a passion?  I’m not so sure anymore.  I feel I have so many.  Besides the fact, I’ve known that I can never say I’m a writer if I don’t write.  Or read.  So here’s to that.

Naturally, the next question to arise is, “What do I write about?”.  I figure the first post is a great place for the nuts and bolts.

I am a mother of two and a lover of one.  The first things we say of ourselves is usually the most important.  It isn’t quite a profession but rather more of a 24-hours-a-day commitment.  Everything else just basically follows suit, secondary yet equally important.  I am passionate about everything literary, musical, artistic, tasty, and cultural.  It’s broad, but that is basically what the blog is about: the daily musings of a curious curiosity.

So, if you find yourself here, welcome.  Enjoy and stay curious!