hello.

Ok, it’s been a year since I last blogged and a lot has happened. Fun stuff and difficult stuff. And all of it has lead to me to where I am today, teaching Pilates like a boss and working at lululemon like a champ. One of my goals this year is to be able to do a handstand unassisted. Here is a video of how I practice. …and of how Brian feels about my practice. Keep in mind his office is on the other side of the wall I’m using. And please don’t judge me for my butt being in the camera so much. Just enjoy the commentary. 😉

pancake-mix muffins

Ok y’all, I must say I’m kind of proud of myself for figuring this out on my own. The other day I made a yummy juice with oranges, grapefruit, and cucumber. I didn’t want to waste all that pulp and thought it would make some tasty muffins. I didn’t have any gluten free flour in my pantry, but I did spy some GF pancake mix. I figured, what’s the worst that could happen? I try to make muffins with pancake mix and they suck so I toss them. Or they make really cute muffin-shaped panckes.

I followed this basic fruit + muffin recipe from smitten kitchen, just subbed the flour for pancake mix and omitted the baking powder and baking soda. They turned out just fine! The only thing I didn’t love were the bites of muffin that had too much grapefruit — it was just too bitter. Here’s the recipe. (Sorry I don’t have any pretty pictures for you… I don’t care enough today to drag out my big camera. ;) )

Pancake Mix Muffins

Yield: 18

Time: 25-30 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 C fruit pulp
  • 2 eggs
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 1/3 C oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt (if you want)
  • 1.5 C pancake mix

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*.
  2. Mix all the wet ingredients together until well combined.
  3. Add pancake mix a little at a time, stirring until just combined.
  4. Scoop into muffin tin and bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick comes out clean. About 25-30 min.

I’d imagine you could sub any pulp and they would be yummy. I made another batch with apple pulp and cinnamon (no zest or juice of orange), they were quite good, too!

tailor your pants already.

You know, those pants you bought because they were on sale even though they don’t fit quite right. God bless Old Navy for their cheap pants, but dang it’s frustrating when you aren’t shaped like one of their mannequins.

I bought this pair of pants from Old Navy back in the fall but probably only wore them 2 or 3 times. They fit in the bum and thighs, but the waist and ankles were big and wonky. You know how it is when your pants’ waist is too big, you bend to pick something up or to just sit down in a chair and all of a sudden your coin slot announces you’re open for business.

pants beforeHere they are before. You can’t see the waist, my shirts conveniently cover the awkward belt popping up over the waist band in the back. The calf portion of the pants drove me crazy because they would sneak their way up my leg and get stuck, bunching at my knees and leaving me ready for high waters. I think it’s something with the fabric, they’re more like treggings than jeggings (trousers vs. jeans) so they stretch quite a bit as you wear them.

To tailor the ankles

I put them on inside out, stood on a chair, and had a friend (read: someone patient and honest) pinch them on the outer seam until they felt more snug, but not too tight. She marked them with chalk at the ankle and around mid-calf, giving me a point to aim for as I tapered them. That’s the most important thing, tapering them just right.

inside leg2 copyinside leg2

You can see it took me a couple of tries to get the tapering right, starting at the ankle and sewing up towards the knee. If it’s too sharp of a taper, it will give your pants an angle where you want a straight line. After I got the new seam right, I sewed a wide zigzag stitch about 1/4 inch away from the new seam, starting at the knee and working back down. You’ll want to overlap the new zigzag with the old serged edge so they don’t fray, then trim close to the outer edge of the new zigzag to get rid of the bulk.

pants afterNow they’re nice and snug around the ankle!

bootiesAnd when they’re rolled you can’t even tell there is a new seam.

To tailor the waist

While they were inside out, I also had my friend pinch in the waist until they felt snug and comfortable. She marked it with chalk right in the middle and initially I took them in there, in the middle of the waist, but the tapering didn’t look right (so important!) — it made the seam in the back come to a point. No one wants a pointy coccyx.

So I measured how much they were pinched in and split the difference mid-way between the back and side belt loops. That is, I needed to take them in 2 inches, so I took in 1 inch over each pocket.

inside bumOriginally I tapered them just past the waist band, but (again) it made a point where there shouldn’t be one. So I tapered it all the way down to the diagonal seam just above the pockets.

seam2Thankfully, I think it’s only really noticeable on the waistband and not as much in the free space below.

seam1Not the best picture, I know, but here’s a closeup. You can see in the profile of the right side that it doesn’t stand out in a point because the new seam is tapered to the old, sturdy seam.

bum2Et voilà! No more coin slot! Also, I’m convinced that if these pants didn’t have a pattern they would look horrendous. Dots cover a multitude of sins.

bum1 One more for good measure. I don’t usually wear my shirts tucked in (too many high school mems feeling like a Walmart employee in my uniform), but I think I like it. Gah what’s wrong with me? What’s old is new again…

spring break 2013

Last week we went to VA to spend time with Brian’s family and so Brian could do some work up there. Our first morning we were greeted with not-so-springlike weather.

IMG_4968But it was pretty. :)

I spent all week “working” too. My MIL is a wizard when it comes to sewing and since I had some projects I wanted to do, I waited and took them all with me so I could ask the maestro when I needed help. We sat in her sewing room (yes! a whole room just for sewing with great big windows) and I made her watch Pretty Little Liars (thanks for getting me hooked Anna!) while we sewed our projects all week. :)

Project #1: Baby Onesies. So many of my friends are having babies! So I wanted to make a few onesies for presents. I got the idea from Allison who made some super cute onesies for her friends. The onesies I got were 0-3 months so they didn’t fit on my machine and I ended up hand-sewing the appliques on. I really like how they turned out. :)

IMG_5024

IMG_5023I have a few more but they are specially for some friends and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Project #2: Burp Cloths. This is such a quick and easy way to jazz up plain old burp cloths. Another project Allison inspired me to make. :)

IMG_5019This is one of my favorite fabrics that I had, so I made a couple with it. I love the colors.

IMG_5021I’m so glad these few turned out well! I thought a black and white fabric with neon stitching would be fun and gender neutral. Gotta stay on trend!

IMG_5020Project #3: Tailoring my pants. I’ll save that for another post because this one is getting long. ;) But I will say, it is kind of difficult to take a tasteful picture of your own bum.

Currently

Borrowing this from Ginna. :)

I’m currently…

Watching…The Big Bang Theory. I hadn’t seen it in a few days and genuinely missed them. I feel like Howard, Leonard, Raj, and Sheldon are my friends. Such a funny show.

Enjoying… Pilates! I’m not doing it right this second, but I’m getting up early tomorrow morning for a class and am going to sign up to get my certification to become an instructor soon! I’ve done yoga but I feel like Pilates has done more for me — I actually see my muscles toning and feel like I’m getting stronger. (I’m also enjoying my hammock.)IMG_4898
Planning… our “Spring Break” trip next week. We’re headed to VA to spend the week with the Fowlers. I’m taking advantage of having my mom-in-law at home all week and taking my sewing machine with the hopes of tailoring some pants that I’ve had forever but haven’t loved. We’ll see how it goes. I’m afraid they look better in my head than in real life…

Excited for… My Norwex job! I have loved it so far, but I feel like I’m really seeing growth, getting recruits, making changes, just getting better and learning more all around. Love it!

Cooking… Most recently: pan-grilled garlic steak with carrots and peppers. 4-5 times in the last week: kettle corn, and banana chocolate almond milk “milk shakes.”

Pinning… shirt, pants, print, my true love.

Inspired by… this book by A. W. Tozer. I read it in college, again during our first year of marriage, and pulled it off the shelf once more this week. (It’s only $0.99 for the Kindle edition!) It is small and unimposing in size, but the depth of wisdom found within requires me to read and re-read sentences until I feel like I’m somewhat close to grasping the concept. Here’s one such nugget that I’ve highlighted/asterisk’d 3 times now:

Speaking of God Incomprehensible: ‘Faith is an organ of knowledge, and love an organ of experience.’

Remembering… John Piper‘s sermon at our church this weekend. Specifically his enthusiastic proclamation that he would gladly abandon his faith if you could show him a better offer and his description of our joy found through Christ which is boundless in height and will never end.

So what are you up to currently?

the Remedy

I’m having a blue day today. Tears come easily. Hope feels just out of reach. The grey weather isn’t helping.

It’s easy to look around and compare my life with others'; to feel like things aren’t fair and be frustrated. I shouldn’t do that. But God knows what my heart needs and he provides.

I need a reminder that I am not here to follow my own plan, but for God’s glory.

The Kelley family has been that reminder. What a beautiful example they are, sacrificing so much, walking through such pain, keeping their eyes focused to the Lord and in turn, helping direct our eyes to the Lord. I don’t even know them, but their story has impacted me so much.

I don’t usually get so serious on here, but I felt like I needed to share. Whatever crap I’m going through right now has been nothing compared to theirs. Aaron and Steph, thank you for your example of how to lead a family through such a trial, of how to walk through the fire trusting that you will not be consumed, and how to keep the faith. His strength has been made perfect in your weakness.

If you feel moved to offer your support, check out this page with several giving options.

High Five For Friday

h54f1. This is one of my favorite pictures that I think I’ve ever taken with my husband. I don’t know why, it just makes me so happy. He really is the love of my life.

2. Brian and I have been hiding that wee dinosaur for each other to find for a couple of years now. It made my day when I found it nestled between the O and V.

3. Brinovirus shared his germs with me. I can’t remember the last time I got sick with a cold, so I guess I was due for one. But this was a yucky one.

4. On Monday night, after 4 days of not breathing through my nose and constant sinus pressure, I made a juice with ginger and citrus. It was a miracle! I could breathe! I’m pretty sure that’s what cured me because the next day I was 95% better.

5. Another thing I love about Bribri is that, of the two of us, he is the one with insatiable chocolate cravings. So I wasn’t surprised when I found him making brownies. With bacon sprinkles.

If you want to join in, share your 5 highlights of the last week and link up over on From My Grey Desk!

Paleo: Don’t Miss the Point

We are into our second month on the Paleo diet. I feel like I’ve learned a lot and I’m enjoying it more every day. I know it’s not for everyone, but I think everyone could benefit from it. Going dairy-free and gluten-free at the same time is tough. But you will feel so much better the longer you stick with it.

On that note, if you go Paleo and then stock your shelves with gluten-free bread or pasta, gluten-free beer, and dairy-free ice cream, you’re missing the point. Those are just fillers, filling your stomach for now but leaving you hungry later and not giving you any nutrition. The point is to eat whole, unprocessed foods that will fill your stomach and keep you full, keep your blood sugar stable, and help your systems get back in order.

And you don’t have to just have a salad every day. This is my basic math for making a meal:

protein (2 palms-ful)

+ colorful veggie (1 palm)

+ healthy carb (1 palm plus a little)

I’m full and happy for 4+ hours!

I think portion sizes are very important and you should basically do the opposite of what our government has taught. Take a look at this chart I’ve seen floating around Pinterest from a how-to-lose-weight website:

If you want to lose weight or get your blood sugar under control (i.e. get your grumpies under control), you need to eat more protein and drop the rice, pasta, chips, popcorn, and pretzels. It’s that simple. We weren’t trying to lose weight, but we definitely have. (B-skinny more than me…)

All that to say, think about what you’re eating and why you’re eating it. Are you just used to eating a sandwich and chips for lunch every day? Do you think bolognese could only be tasty on pasta? Do you feel like you need something white with every meal? Are you afraid your life won’t be complete without cheese? These were all questions I had to ask myself. And when I get that craving for something salty and crunchy, I ask myself why… usually it’s because I’m bored or I think it will make me feel better.

And then there’s fat… You probably need to be eating more fat. But I’ll save that lecture for another day. ;)

Re-Post, for your entertainment

I originally posted this over 3 years ago. But I can remember it like it was yesterday. Also, take note, this is pre-Norwex. :)

ShamWOW

Don’t put your Shamwow in the dryer.  How do I know this?  Where do I begin…

It all started a few years ago when I realized Brian’s thing is  reading instructions.  Just like Ross’s thing is divorcing and Chandler’s thing is being funny, Brian’s thing is reading the instructions for any new device.  Or in this case, any new towel.  I should also mention that my thing is typically destruction.  I spill, drop, tear, or break things on a regular basis.

Now, when you combine these two truths about us, you have the potential for a cosmic explosion.  And an explosion we had!

Over the weekend while we were babysitting for the girls who live upstairs, Brian (not me!) spilled my full glass of water on the carpet and partially under the sofa.  Rather than going through countless paper towels, I asked Brian to run downstairs and get our Shamwow.  Worked like a charm.  A few days ago I was working at my table and spilled my cup of water (which had a lid on it but I still somehow managed to spill the whole thing).  Naturally, I reached for the Shamwow.  After drying the table, carpet, and remote (and part of the bunny who was sleeping under said table), naturally I threw it in the dryer.

This is where it gets good.  Later that day, we were in the car on the way to pick up a movie for our date night and I shared the anecdote about my spillage and use of the Shamwow… and my use of the dryer.  I think I’ll switch to script format here.

Brian: YOU WHAT!?

Becca: I put the Shamwow in the dryer. WHAT? WHY!?

Brian: [devilish smile and loud booming voice] AH HA!  I KNEW you would break the Shamwow!  You’re not supposed to do that!  You didn’t read the instructions did you!?

Becca: [arms crossed, scowled eyebrows] You foiled me on purpose!  You threw the instructions away before I could read them!  You intentionally set me up for this!

Brian: [still has a devilish look on his face] I didn’t throw them away!  Didn’t you see them under the sink stuck between the box of Brita filters and garbage bags!?

Becca: [finger wagging and pointing] You DID do this on purpose!  We’re supposed to be a team!  I can’t believe this!  Look at you, you’re so happy!!!

Brian: [fist pumps] Well maybe next time you should read the instructions!

Becca: [arms crossed again, looking out the window]  They should put it in the commercial.  I pay attention to commercials and the commercial says you just throw it in the wash when it’s dirty!  So… I assumed it meant the wash and dry cycle.  …No wonder it looks funny now.

Brian: [Becca and Brian get out of their car, walk towards the door of the video store]  Ha ha.  Now you can’t make fun of me for reading the instructions any more!  And you have to blog about this!…

[Becca and Brian open the store door and cross the threshold; Becca gives the hand slide across the throat indicating he should shut up or die.]

Becca: What should we rent?

*Side note, we purchased a new set of Shamwows at WalMart tonight.