Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mama & Minivan

So a few weeks ago we decided to trade in our Explorer & get a Minivan. Now I know I always said I would never be a minivan mama.. but when you have three kids all in car seats & a huge stroller to lug around, along with lots of stuff all the time.. well a minivan only makes sense.

Now I was nervous at first & scared that my cool hip mama image would slip away because I no longer had a cool SUV but ya know what I don't care because the convenience that comes with a minivan, makes all the scary complexes that come with it disappear. I must say now after having it a few weeks I love it. I love the gas milage & the cheaper payment as well.

Oh & yes we name our cars haha. It makes it fun. So Molly is our new ride. The girls love it. We even have a TV in it as well so that is a plus. I must say though since I am not much o f TV watcher except for a few show's I do get irritated that my four year old constantly thinks that even if we are only going 2 seconds away she should be able to watch a movie. So she will learn quickly that movies are only for long drives.. I mean like 45 min drives or longer. The one great thing is the trunk is huge, the girls can climb in & out like pros & we have captains chairs so I can get to the back a lot easier then before & there is a TON of leg room in any row you sit in. So yes I am a minivan mom, no I will not be putting some crazy wheels on it even though my hubby works for Discount Tire Co. but yes I will still be the coolest hippest mama in town who now drives a minivan. Oh & why you may ask because if you pull up next to us.. we are usually jamming out to Alicia Keys or P!NK & all four of us girls are dancing our buts off :) & the added bonus is that the minivan has a rockin system.

On another note.. for months our good friends Kyle & Jennie (who we miss terribly I might add!), have told us to watch The Walking Dead. So we started watching mid season & could not get into it because we were totally lost. So we gave up. Then the other day Stephen's cousin & wife told us we have to watch it & to order it on Netflix. Well we received season one in the mail yesterday & watched the entire season last night. We were a bit tired today because we were up till 12:30am watching it because it was just to good not to! We are addicted! Love it & I love the suspense! So if you haven't watched it.. I suggested you get your 30 day free trial with NetFlix & get it ordered because you are seriously missing out!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back to Blogging

Well it has been almost a year since I lasted posted. I know crazy, but that is life right. I am now a happy mama of three healthy beautiful girls. After a sever tragedy in our family we have relocated & are now in Texas. It was the best decision for us & to be closer to family.
I must say we love it here. I love the sunshine, the warmer weather, & all the fun things Texas has to offer as far as family & our faith go. I was always hesitant to move back south but I am so glad we did.. we will see if I feel the same way come summer, but I am sure I will.

Shiloh is 4 & my diva princess all the way! She is the best big sister to Gabbie & Emmie & she loves every second she shares with them. Shiloh is going to be back in school hopefully by next week & she is so excited! She ask all the time to get back to school & we just have one last school to visit & its decision time. But she is so smart & thrives to learn & be around other children her age.. I am so excited for her!

Gabriella or Gabbie is two now. I can't believe how fast she has grown. She is our little bundle of energy & our goofy girl. She loves to play mama & to act silly as often as possible. She makes life so fun & exciting because you never know what she is going to surprise you with. She does wear me out though & sometimes makes my head spin but I love her to the moon & back & I adore her more each day.

Emma Anne is 10 months old.. the last time I blogged about her I was pregnant & anxiously awaiting her arrival. She ended up making her entrance into our lives at 38 weeks & she was born on 4.12.12. She is for sure my dainty sweet baby girl. She loves her older sisters & follow's them everywhere. She giggles at them  constantly throughout the day. She is crawling all over our home & soon will be walking. I am currently planning her first birthday party & its so bitter sweet.

Now that we are taking a break or are done with having babies. I am learning the new me. Who I am not pregnant. Who I am as a mom of three. I spent the last 5 years pregnant, nursing, trying to get pregnant & now I am just mama. My girls are the light of my life. The reason I smile, laugh & make each day the best I can. I can't say for sure that I am done having babies, but I am for sure done for now.

I hope that we can reconnect through my blog my stories & photo's & hope my writings keep you inspired, happy & engaged. I am glad to be back & I can't wait to share our family stories with all of you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2 Years of Fat & 3 Days Off

Here I am above from after my second baby to after my third baby. I loved the way I looked in June 2011.. my ultimate goal is to get back to that with a six pack & more toned arms & legs. I am close but I still have a ways to go.

These last few days I did not keep my goal in check.. I ate horribly & did not workout once. I feel so yucky now. I haven't had my Shakeology & my sleep has been so messed up. I don't like that I let myself go.

Tomorrow I am back on track. Eating right, working out & making sure I take care of my body! I gained 3 pounds in the last 3 days.. that is a pound a day! I can't allow & I will not allow myself to do this again!!

I stopped drinking soda on Jan 1st of this year & I have done amazing at not having any & I did last night boo!!! I have done so well with not having dairy or sugar or bread & in the last 3 days I am sure my food was filled with it. My stomach has hurt.. its bloated & I am just exhausted & moody.. & I know its from the crap I put into my belly!!

I know its okay to have bad days & to take a break from exercising. But 3 DAYS!!! That is not okay at least not for me.. I must get back to my plan & set focus on my goal! I have to do this for me.. for my own happiness!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

5 Days of Vegetarian

So I have a lot of people who ask me for meal ideas. People are afraid to eat healthy because they think that eating right cost money. Everything cost money. Would you rather spend $170 on crap food for a week that will leave you feeling yucky & put on the pounds or $170 on healthy full of nutrient meals that will leave you healthy & feeling good. You have to look at this way does your health really have a price tag?

But lets get to some great vegetarian meals for a 5 day plan. These meals are ones that are easy & great for people on a budget.

The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian burger crumbles
3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
2. Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.


Veggie Tacos

Olive oil
1 cup of roughly chopped zucchini or summer squash (1-2 zucchini or squash, depending on the size)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 large fresh mild green chile (Anaheim or Hatch), seeds and stem discarded, chopped
1/2 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, seeds and stem discarded, minced (or more, if you desire more heat)
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of ground oregano
1 small to medium tomato, chopped
4 corn tortillas
4 slices cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crumbled Mexican cotija cheese (a salty, crumbly cheese, you can substitute feta)
A few sprigs of fresh cilantro, chopped (okay to include the stems, if small)

1. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the zucchini, onions, garlic, green chiles, and jalapeño to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and cumin. Stir to coat the vegetables with the oil in the pan. Spread the veggies out in the pan and then stir only occasionally, until they are all lightly browned. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and oregano, lower the heat to low. Let gently cook for several minutes while you are preparing the tortillas.
2. You are going to want to heat up the tortillas first, first to soften them, and then to melt the cheese. There are two basic ways of doing this. One way is on the stove top, preferably in a cast iron pan. Another way is to use the microwave. In both methods you will work in batches. (A third way is to use fresh homemade corn tortillas, which is a great option if you are set up for it.)
3. Open the tacos and spoon some of the cooked veggie filling into them. Sprinkle on chopped cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese. Serve immediately.

Yield: Makes 4 tacos. Serves 2.

Simply Recipes

Vegetarian Meatloaf

1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.


Vegetarian Spaghetti

10 ounces vegetables, crumbles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 zucchini, peeled and minced
8 mixed mushrooms, diced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons pepper, divided
1 tablespoon dried basil (see note in description)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
16 ounces pasta sauce (I used sauce from the freezer so I guess-estimating it was 16 ounces but may have been more or less)
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa (I used medium heat salsa)
1/2 teaspoon sugar substitute (truvia)
12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti (or your favorite pasta)
parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions while preparing sauce.
2. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine first 12 ingredients (veggi crumbles - cayenne). Microwave on medium high for 5-10 minutes (I think I microed it for 8 minutes).
3. Stir in pasta sauce, salsa and Splenda into mixture. Microwave covered for 10 minutes, stirring once.
4. Spoon sauce over pasta and toss. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.

Read more at:

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

For stew:
10 ounces pearl onions (about 2 1/4 cups)
9 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds seitan, sliced 1/4 inch thick and patted dry
3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, sliced 1/2 inch thick, and washed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
3/4 pound carrots (about 4 medium), cut into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
3/4 pound parsnips (about 4 medium), cut into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 (750-ml) bottle full-bodied red wine such as Burgundy or Côtes du Rhône
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups hot rich vegetable stock
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

For topping:
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
3/4 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream

Equipment: a 3-quart shallow (2-inch-deep) flameproof baking dish; a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with medium disk


Make stew:
Blanch pearl onions in a 2-quart saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes, then drain and cool in an ice bath to stop cooking. Peel onions and trim, leaving root ends intact.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown seitan in 3 batches, turning occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes (add 2 tablespoons oil between batches). Transfer to a plate.
Cook leeks in remaining 3 tablespoons oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in pot over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to give off liquid, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, parsnips, thyme, and rosemary and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a bowl.
Add wine to pot and boil until reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes.
While wine reduces, make a beurre manié by stirring together butter and flour in a small bowl to form a paste.
Add stock to wine and bring to a brisk simmer. Whisk in beurre manié, then simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Add seitan, pearl onions, and vegetable mixture to pot and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in parsley.

Make topping while stew simmers:
Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. Cover potatoes and celery root with cold water in a 4-to 5-quart heavy pot, then simmer, partially covered, until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain in a colander.
Bring butter, milk, and cream to a simmer in pot over medium heat, stirring until butter has melted. Stir in reserved cooking water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat. Force potatoes and celery root through ricer into hot milk mixture and stir gently to combine.

Finish pie:
Preheat broiler. Put baking dish in a large 4-sided sheet pan and transfer stew to dish.
Spoon potato mixture over stew and spread evenly to cover. Broil about 3 inches from heat until top is golden, about 5 minutes.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Me, Being Real

Do you ever find yourself in negative thoughts? Or in a moment when what used to make you smile now makes you sad or angry or both? Do wonder if those emotions ever get better or if they just get tolerable?

The last few days I have found myself in moments that make my heart want to scream. I used to love getting in the car jamming the music & just driving, but lately it seems I find myself in deep thought & running through scenarios of what if this had happened or what if this hadn't of happened. I get anxious & sad & I change the music open the windows & breath to try to catch a break for a second & I tell myself.. "Melissa, there is nothing you can do or say or feel that will change the past. This is what is. This is the path that God chose. This is the life that God set in place. This is the life you have to love & embrace & set your self free of all this anger & sadness. Now look in that rearview mirror there are 3 little faces staring at you, who need you, who look up to you, how thrive on your emotions & who need you to guide them through this time in their lives that they may not understand." I then snap out of it & I push forward.

When we first moved to Texas I started listening to the christian channel. It made me feel happy, it spoke the words my heart was wanting to say so badly, it made me feel better inside & I needed my faith again to guide me in this new path that we had taken. Now all of a sudden though I am finding the songs make me emotional & are leaving me feeling sad. It's not the channel its me & what I am going through. You see songs are a great release for sadness, happiness, love or any kind of emotion but it also depends on what you are going through inside & how your reciprocate those words they are singing to you.

I have a heart full of sadness right now. I have had to face a heartache I pray no ever has to go through. I have had to face horror in the face & come back smiling as though it will all be okay. It was only a little over 3 months ago. I remember the last time I saw her smile, heard her laugh, rubbed her pregnant belly, gossiped with her about what to expect when my niece was here. I remember her trying to put my two year old down for a nap & her climbing out of the play pin & her going "that little shit, Missy you have to watch out for her" we laughed. I remember talking about how she wanted to learn to crotchet & that there was this place down the street that offered classes & she wanted to start making hats to sell on my site. I remember talking about what Sierra was going to look like & how nervous she was to actually go into labor. I remember her walking us to my car helping me load my girls & things & hugging good-bye & her thanking me for coming over & her saying "Love you Shi, Gabzilla, Emmie & Miss" I remember looking back in my rearview going damn I love her & I can't wait to meet my niece. I smiled as I drove away so excited that it was almost time for Sierra to be born & because I was so happy at how close Sandy & I had become since we moved back to Seattle.

Lately my walls are coming down & my strength is not as visible. My weakness is shinning through. I tell myself to fight harder to stay stronger. I hide out. I walk away, ignore, block & set focus on other things to hide my sadness, to cover up my pain. You see I never thought on that day, Wednesday October 24th I would be spending my last day with my beautiful sister in law, I never thought we would laugh together for the last time or say I love you for the last time. I thought it was like any other time we said good-bye.. I thought I would see her again in a few days.. but the next time I saw her was at her wake. I had to go & see her to make it real because in my head it was not real.. this was an horrible joke or something.. but I walked up & I saw her & I met my niece Sierra Jo for the first time. I knew it was my Kay because one of the first things I looked for was her birthmark on her right ring finger & it was there. At that instant I broke down. I cried, I felt sick, I felt numb, I felt anger, I felt hate, I felt so awful inside that I couldn't even breath. It was something I never thought I would have to see. My beautiful sister in-law & unborn niece.

To this day I still have doubt that it was really her but then I remind myself that it was. Why would someone play such a horrific joke. It makes me sad. I grieve everyday. I may not grieve like others are grieving but I do. I may just be her stepbrothers wife but I loved her as though she was my little sister.. my blood. I write my feelings, I cry my feelings, I sing my feelings, I workout my feelings & I pray about my feelings. I don't let my girls see me cry about this, I don't let them know how hurt or angry or sad I am about not having their aunt with us & her unborn baby. But I know they feel it. Why because my fuse is short & my voice gets loud. When I am in a moment.. I don't want to hear "mommy mommy" or crying or fighting or "I want I want I want" I want to tune it all out put my headphones on & workout harder & better then I did the last time. So when I feel sad or anxious, I pack my kids up & head to the gym.

Getting in shape is my therapy. Its where I can go & just focus on what I need to do & get out all the tears through my sweat. I get all my punches out through lifting weights, I get to run away on the treadmill & I get to push my self to limits that I couldn't before because I know if I can get through this horrible tragedy then I can get thin, I can get healthy & I can live a better life then what I was before when I was hiding away in my house, crying, drinking, smoking, & eating crap for food. I am doing this for me.. but I am also doing this because I know Sandra would be proud & I know she loved me just as much as I did her & she is here helping me get through this ever second. I may not be able to see her or hear her.. but I know she is pushing me & cheering me on.

So on your bad days or moments.. remember you can do this.. you are stronger then you think & you can make this happen. Reaching your goals is possible you just have to take that first step.. & you have to look your self in the eyes & say "I CAN DO THIS"!!! Because I did & I do everyday & I believe in you!

R.I.P Sandra Kay Perry 12.25.1985 to 10.29.2012
My best friend, little sister, partner in crime, auntie to my girls & sister to my husband we love you & miss you everyday of our lives. Your nieces ask for you daily & love you to the moon & back & to infinity & beyond! Till we meet again know my heart is with you & that when I arrive at heavens gate.. I am going to give you the biggest hug & I am going to shower my niece with all the love I never was able to give her here on earth!


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