Single Lady or Lady In Waiting?

SiC girls

I’ve been spending a lot of time online lately, more than my already excessive usual. So much so, that my mother asked me if internet addiction was a real thing. I knew exactly where she was going with this. Although my mother has never been one to pressure me to get married, have children and get the heck out of her house, she does want grandchildren. All her siblings have grandchildren and almost all my dad’s siblings do too. I hate to admit it but it does make me feel a little bit inadequate that I haven’t been able to give them any.

While mine and my parents’ view is a little bit more on the traditional side, society says something else entirely. Society says you either marry and be a traditionalist, or be a liberal and live your life as freely as you can (cue Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies,” which perfectly encapsulates this paradox).

It’s all over the media. You have pop stars in their teens getting engaged, you have others proclaiming they don’t believe in marriage. Then, there’s Princesses: Long Island. This new little “gem” shown on BRAVO TV follows the lives of rich girls on Long Island, NY. For those of you who may not know, I spent 1.5 years living on the island (the furthest I’ve ever lived from home on my own) and noticed how different girls are up there than they are in Florida. And although I’m not a proponent of how these reality shows often depict women, the announcement of this one piqued my curiosity.

I tuned in and laughed, sort of related and even threw out some judgmental yet humorous comments. At the end of the episode, in a slew of clips of what’s to come, on stood out to me. A girl crying because she’s unmarried, living at home with her parents and a whopping 27 years old. She looked to be having some sort of breakdown based on her believed inability to land a man and how she felt judged over it. She’s not alone, I’m 26 and in her same situation (minus, of course, the trust fund and life of excess). What is it about our generation that makes girls feel like you have to be some sort of wild party girl to justify not marrying young? Otherwise, you’re just some spinster that nobody wants. And then I wonder, is it just my imagination and people are not even thinking that about me, but I go to another wedding, baby shower, or engagement party and the first question I’m asked is “When are you going to …”

I can sit here and say that I’m alone in this, but judging by Princesses: Long Island, obviously I’m not. And then look what the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) has to say about it.

CDC StatisticsNow check out this chart from the NIH (National Institutes of Health).

NIH Chart

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/mentalhealth.html#cat22

Women have come so far yet we are still affected by the covert and overt pressures around us. Is that just women or is that everybody? Or is this not the general plot line of every Sex in the City episode?

I’m starting to understand why I find MTV’s Girl Code hilarious yet, at times, confusing.

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Get Back on That Horse, Lil’ Lady

keep-calm-and-get-back-on-that-horseAfter a 10-week “sabbatical” I’m back. And I’m glad to be back.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t really on a sabbatical, it was more of a face lives harsh realities and learn a few lessons type of thing. But sabbatical sounds much nicer.

To prepare for this post, which I’ve been putting off for the past week, for fear of being un-engaging, I read my last post. Oh, those were the days, where new beginnings were on the horizon. As I read about my excitement for a new job, which I have since quit (more on that later), I could help but feel the phantom sensation of recent growth pains. Here is how it went down:

  •   Got a new job, flew to Denver for training, and started seeing clients.
  •   Realized I hated said new job and had a panic attack.
  •   Called my old supervisor in a fit of anxiety and she responded “come back your position is still open.”
  •   Cried all weekend prior to making a decision. Ultimately, quit and came back to “the cave.”
  •   Have since been recuperating from the sting of shame and disappointment.
  •   Realized that life only gets more difficult as you get older.

So now, I’m back to the same but I’m different. It’s really true what they say “Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side, other times it’s AstroTurf.” So what’s my plan now?

  1. Live bigger, brighter and freer than before, stop waiting on the one thing that’s going to “fix my life,” and just carry on. Thankfully, though shaken my faith in God has remained, I’ve seen to many give that up when things don’t turn out the way they expected and it’s never prettier on the other side. When you believe, BELIEVE (it makes all the difference).
  2. Get back to the things I love. Part of the reason I hated my job is because I was working 10 hour days 7 times a week. I had no time for, baking, reading, crafts, spending time with my family, doing homework and breathing. So I’m getting back to those things, and doing my best to have them make it onto this blog.
  3. Get back to taking care of myself. With all the commotion (BTW, my mom also had surgery during these past 10-weeks), my eating habits have taken a toll, so has exercising. Now, I’m trying to practice a daily headstand and it’s marvelous. It’s a new perspective to the same old thing and it’s Re*Freshing.
  4. HAVE a BUNCH of FUN.

I heard it said before “LIVE THE LIFE YOU”RE LIVING,” and that’s just what I plan to do.

 

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What I Learned from MOLLY HOOPER (BBC’s Sherlock)

I do not own this image

I do not own this image

Hello friends, it’s been way too long. Updates soon, but here is a quick snapshot of what’s been going on. Or, a rather lame excuse why I’ve been M.I.A. for so long:

  • New Job (yay, officially a therapist although I haven’t officially started)
  • Massive amounts of work (seriously, my final project for one class is about 120 pages long, not exaggerating)
  • Bonding with some real live action people (which almost never happens)
  • Struggling with an overwhelming sense of lethargy and desire to eat my feelings.

Ok, so that last one isn’t as bad as it sounds. But I will say this, like any girl sometimes I struggle with insecurities. Like Molly Hooper (BBC’s Sherlock) I’m confident, but there’s a little voice I carry with me that makes me doubt it.

Let’s face it girls, we all feel like this sometimes. It’s a product of our society which can at times objectify us. Compliments are often based on standards of beauty that are mostly fictional due to the magic Photoshop. So a well-meaning friend, co-worker, or worse, guy can make a compliment sound more like a pressured request for us to perform.  Self-doubt can take over in an instance, making us feel like a deficient, broken toy constantly needing repair. This type of thinking leads nowhere good. Unfortunately, there are way too many beautiful, intelligent, caring people out there struggling to realize just what a gem they are.

If I have learned something from Molly Hooper (seriously she’d the best and if you don’t watch Sherlock, trust me you should) it just that. We are gems. We all are, cut in different ways, reflecting light at different angles, unique and precious in our own way. I’m not saying anything here that hasn’t been said before, but I still think it needs saying. Molly is fiercely loyal, she loves as purely as she can and fearlessly helps those who need her even if they don’t ask for it. I love the girl, she’s a role model in the world of TV that is constantly littered with women sending out the wrong messages. I want to be like Molly, who carries that little voice with her but it never shouts loud enough to keep her from being just who she is and from doing good. That, my friend, is true confidence.

HELP FEARLESSLY, LOVE PURELY, AND ALWAYS KNOW THAT YOU’RE DESERVING OF THE GOOD THAT COMES TO YOU.

Lima Bean Soup

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We’ve been having a “cold” weather streak here in sunny South Florida. In reality it hasn’t really been that cold, it just hasn’t been blazing hot for the past week or so. The weather is beautiful. And while most people lean towards eating fresh fruits and veggies or having meaty BBQs during this type of weather, I’m a soup type of girl.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I can have soup any day, anytime for any occasion. A gentle rolling breeze seems like soup weather to me!

This is a good one guys; this is a really good one. It’s hardy in taste, creamy in texture and protein and fiber rich. It’s just what I need after my assessment run. I’m trying to improve my 5K time for BIG Cardio 2013. Actually I need a shower first and then a big ol’ bowl of soup.

Lima Bean Soup (4 Servings)

  • 1 Tbsp. Reduced Calorie Butter Spread
  • 1/3 C. Chopped Onion
  • ½ C. Chopped Celery
  • ½ C. Chopped Carrots
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 4 oz. Virginia Ham
  • 1 Small White Potato (cubed)
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp. Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 C. Fat-Free, No salt Added Chicken Stock
  • 3 C. Water

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Pre-Soak Lima Beans (Rinse lima beans and add to a stock pot with 6-8 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil and allow boiling for about 2 more minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour. Discard soaking water and rinse.)

In clean soup pot, melt Butter spread over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add cubed ham, stir until browned. Add garlic, celery, carrots, chili powder, salt and pepper; cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

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Add lima beans, potato, stock and water. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover while simmering. Stirring occasionally, cook for 1 ½ hours. Add brown sugar and cook for 30 minutes.

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Serve warm and yummy to fill your tummy. Try it with Back to Nature Sweet Potato & Cinnamon Crackers.

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Nutrition information (obtained from myfitnesspal.com): 254 calories, 2g Fat, 64g carbohydrate, 28g protein, 29g fiber, 9g sugar.  

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The Yummiest of the Semi-Homemades

Occasionally, when time is limited or motivation runs low (almost always I should add), a good product can be made amazing with some simple homemade touches.

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When it’s a really yummy product, cooking is limited, servings are storable and the final dish is tasty and filling.

This one I learned living in the dorms during college. Needless to say it has stayed with me. I like whipping up a batch to have a few healthy lunches on hand, or using the whole recipe at brunch with friends.

Here’s what you’ll need

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DSCN3708[1]DSCN3706[1]Betty Crocker Suddenly Pasta Salad Classic (prepare per instructions on the box, or for a little bit healthier options, reduced the oil and water by half- use a healthy oil live Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

DSCN3714[1]Then simply add your favorite things to ea, chicken, tofu, mixed veggies are all awesome even shrimp if you plan on eating all on the same day. But my favorite is tuna, I know it looks like cat food, but I love me some good tuna.

Here’s what I used:

5 oz can of Chunk Light Tuna in Water

2.25 oz Slice Black Olives

8.75 oz Canned of No Salt Added Corn Kernels

1/2 cup Chopped Broccoli (Raw)

1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes (Halved)

1/3 of a Medium Green Bell Pepper (Diced)

Drain all your canned goodies and mix into your prepared pasta salad!

DSCN3716[1]I separate mine into containers for grab-and-go healthy lunches, these last about 3 days in the fridge and are about 320 calories per serving (this recipe makes 4).

Anxious? Nah, I’m Just a Late Bloomer

HelloMyNameIs-main_Full-300x221This is a story about a girl…ME! Whom everyone thought was an over functioning smarty pants that was, on more occasions than not, very annoying with her “did you know…” and “it’s pronounced…”

Well, in reality this girl was just covering up the fact that she likes to chill and do nothing, often wasting days picking up new hobbies and escaping into the world classic (The Bronte Sisters) and not so classic literature (Gossip Magazines).

Ok, so enough of that, the point is that after my very recent 26th birthday, I’m finally at the cusp of “real” adulthood, maybe.

I have expectations for myself you know, they are just not as high as some might think, be it that I’m a cool as a cucumber kick-back chick (let’s see who believes that one). But here I am a pile of nerves as I await a response from a job interview for a position that can do me a world of good.

Not only would I be finally, finally, entering my chosen career field, but my job application officially jumped me from the 19-25 age group to the 26-35 group.  If I get this job, I will officially join the ranks of the “young professionals” and all its fun financial woes. No more random Tuesdays off, mid-week beach days and Pinterest hoarding from my office desk. My days could now potentially be filled with an incredible amount of driving throughout the county, massive amounts of paperwork and a court date here and there. But I am hoping and I am praying that as hard as it could be, that it would be just as fulfilling.

Not only does the prospect of finally having a “career” rattle my bones a little bit; but my inching closer and closer to dissertation time.

What is now required of me, you ask?

  • Better budgeting
  • Must come up with a new way to file my school work
  • Paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork.
  • Scheduling like a pro
  • Lots and lots of prayer to get through it all.

 

All you adults out there…Won’t you please tell me that everything will be fine, that I’ll adjust and that there’s no shame being a professional late bloomer?

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PB Banana Trail Mix Bites

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8 am- Brushed my teeth, said my morning prayer, and had a sudden realization that I had woken up quite domestic.

So, I headed to the kitchen, bedhead and all.

Let the culinary adventure began. Ok, so it really wasn’t an adventure, it was more of a frantic search of what I could make or bake without having to make a trip to the store for ingredients.

I looked around my kitchen, with the hum of the dishwasher as the soundtrack, and found 2 over ripe bananas and remember my brand new jar of natural, low sodium peanut butter, looked in the pantry found some oat and dried cranberries and thought to myself…  “I could work with this.”

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Try these bites, they are awesome with healthy fats, whole grains and protein; and a little something for you sweet tooth. Imagine a pb & j sandwich drizzled with chocolate in one perfect little bite. Low-calorie too, they clock in at around 63 calories per cookie.

PB Banana Trail Mix Bites

  • 1 cup Old Fashion Oats
  • 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 cup Stevia for Baking
  • 1/4 cup All Natural Low Sodium Peanut Butter
  • 2 Medium Over-ripe Bananas Mashed
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries (Craisins)
  • 2 tbsp. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 oz. Chopped Raw Almonds
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • Dash of Salt

Pre-heat oven at 350 F

Mix bananas, peanut butter and stevia until smooth.DSCN3697[1]

Add whole wheat flour, baking powder and spices. Whisk until well incorporate, mixture will be very sticky and thick.
Fold in oats, chocolate chips, cranberries, and almonds.

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Spoon mixture onto greased cookie sheet (I used the large side for a melon baller).

Leave some space between batter but don’t worry, these don’t really spread so you can fit a whole bunch in one cookie sheet.DSCN3699[1]

Bake for 12-14 minutes.

Cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to container and let cool completely before eating. 

Enjoy, these are awesome!!!

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