Japanese Feast with friends

Thursday night Lilly came over to go to the local Korean market with me to buy food for our Friday night Japanese feast.

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I was the only red-head in the entire store and watch out cause I’ll be back!

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Lilly was telling me the love of span in the Asian culture.  We got the spicy and regular and we all loved it warpped in seaweed and rice.

IMG_1909We found the fish section to be very photogenic

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plenty of awesome produce for reasonable prices

Then Friday arrived and it was time to prepare, watch, learn, help, laugh, talk, visit and listen to music.  I had such a great night with my friend who also happens to own the most incredible shop and everything she sells in her shop, it helps less fortunate and it’s full of adorable handmade things.  I just have to put in a plug for one of my most favorite stores while I’m at this, I have talked about it before, it’s not knew news to my long time readers.  It’s called “Share and Do Good”  and very soon she will be opening up an online store so if you don’t live in our area, you would be able to browse her shop on line.  Not only did Lilly come by to show us how a Japanese feast is done, we invited the girls who grew up in our neighborhood to sit and watch and visit and EAT!  I’m pretty sure I can now do this on my own.  I was always a little intimidated to work with raw fish but now I know exactly where to buy our sashimi and also how to prepare it.  I just need a rice cooker and I’m set, oh and the darling cute dishes she brought along to present our food on.  I took only a few pictures because to be honest, I was too busy being in the moment than photographing our moments and when it came time to eat, I couldn’t spend very much time photographing the beautiful food, I had to eat it for goodness sake!

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our spread to prepare

IMG_1919Lilly busy making our food pretty

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we had a nice amount of fresh veggies and produce and good protein, with some carbs to round out the meal

IMG_1921Some of the girls from the neighborhood.  I have had the privilege to watch them grow into beautiful young ladies

IMG_1923The spread

IMG_1925My empty plate ready for the feast

IMG_1928The idea was to build our own Sushi tacos and that we did!

It was a really fun night filled with all things good. We even drove to 85 degrees for dessert!  It just so happened to be the grand opening on Friday night so hello!  AMAZING.  If you have not been, you must go!  We even got free key chains and since I bought a big box of pastries, I got a the coolest most happy red coffee mug you have ever seen!  I’m chalking February 21st, 2014 up to a very great night.

love is EVERYWHERE!!

Yesterday was Valentine’s day and motorcycle man took the day off work because we had major plumbing troubles.  In the midst of the plumbing troubles I like to snap pictures just to document life and things like that.  Well today I uploaded some images and I had not even seen the heart in this image below until I uploaded it.  I nearly flipped out.  I get a little dramatic.  If you know me, well I may scare you from time to time with my responses to things, I just get a little bit excited and I may just act as if the sky just fell or something but really it’s just a heart!  DO YOU SEE IT! We went to lunch with some good old friends last Sunday after church.  I found a heart in my salad and the discussion arose.  Sal said it best when he said and I quote “it’s like calling cards from God”  I again got very excited because it’s exactly my thought on the matter!

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IMG_1655This is a heart my niece Laynie found for me.  She ran up one day full of joy and said “Aunt Tracie, I found a heart for you today”

IMG_1681I really should clean the hand rail, but I dont’ think I will be painting it!

IMG_1684Abbie even found dirt claud hearts in our plumbing fiasco.  I have to agree!

photo (16)So I was seeking hearts yesterday and well, hearts were also seeking me (image one) but I had no idea that when we were to go to dinner on Valentine’s night, at my favorite spot (Ruta’s) that my thoughtful guy would be passing me love notes throughout dinner and one lead to Drew Barrymore’s “find it in everything” book!  The one I tried so hard to win, but did not but even better to get it from my motorcycle man who really pays attention to me and then writes the sweetest note inside.  I got about five words in and became really verklempt.  I had to stop reading to compose myself (remember the emotional part about me, the over dramatic bit) He watched the Ellen with me, the one Drew Barrymore was on and he tried to play it all cool and not make a big deal that she also is a heart seeker like me but he banked it.  He remembered and went out and got me her book.  Last one in the store, they had to find it in the back even!  I’m just so grateful.  Who cares about bad plumbing when you have a guy like motorcycle man.  He still makes my heart skip a beat.

 

 

 

My take on the HOURS

Hours went live today, I was so excited to see what the hour 7 a.m. looked like to my partners around the globe.  Being the very, very first round I was a little nervous, what if I don’t add up?  What if what I choose is completely different from anyone else?  Below are a few of the images I took in the 7 a.m. hour and also I had taken about three images with my film camera Canon A-1 but as it takes me an eternity to get through an entire roll of film there was no way I would have this developed by the end of the month even.

IMG_0197 Nope, doesn’t feel right

IMG_0203Nope

IMG_0216no

IMG_0269not this one

IMG_0275The moment I clicked this, I knew it was the one.

I decided for me it will be about the live moments in my life with the people I adore.  This moment will never happen again and it’s my honor as his mother to see him get ready each morning and stand in our dinning room and use our dinning room mirror which once belonged to my Great Uncle Cole, this moment would be something I would like to look back on because I have learned they grow very, very fast and once they get to a certain age they are like birds just wanting to fly free and as time goes, I often want to freeze it but since I can’t I take pictures.

trips to the moon

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Trips to the moon are always so much fun.  Yesterday the moon was even out and centered just perfectly between the palm trees  and we just knew that was a good sign.  I’m just a little surprised I didn’t take a picture of it.  I had to cross two big bridges just to get there and I’m not too much of a thrill seeker so crossing a big bridge is about as thrilling as I get.  I took a picture of it and I know I probably shouldn’t do that sort of thing when I drive but it was just a quick point and shoot and I managed to keep myself and my jeep inside the lanes and safely made it to the other side of the bridge.  The picture was really worth it though cause the bridge is just so petty and grand. The prettier of the two bridges is the  Vincent Thomas Bridge and the one I  took a picture of.  It was just picture worthy.

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Our 3rd gathering of the moon people was at a really cool place called  crafted and if you are local and want to see some really cool hand crafted gifts, I would recommend it.  IMG_0362

However I would recommend one go on a Saturday or Sunday.  We went on a Friday (they are only open btw three days a week Friday, Saturday and Sunday) but Friday’s are a little slow, as in most the booths were not even open.  That part made me sad but still we had such a great time.  I only spent 6.50!  5.50 was on a specialized really freshly roasted coffee.  Still have yet to taste it cause motorcycle man left way too early today and I want to make sure and enjoy it with him.  Second was a bumper sticker that reads “reading happens”  I think the only other purchaser of goods was Miss Moonspinner who purchased this amazing book called “walk when the moon is full”  it’s a children’s book and it was only $2.00 and we have plans for this book, it will become our moon people adventure notebook and it will be transformed into a place we log all our adventures at.  Miss Moonspinner also bought a rad book bag.

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So we didn’t spend very much money there but it’s not cause I didn’t want to, I wanted some soaps and bath salts and lotions and  candles,  some pretty flower pins for my hair  oh and jewelry! My favorite open jewelry spot was this one.

IMG_0365 moonwalk

I also was blessed with some love in the form of hearts.  My favorite of all the hearts I received from Miss Moon Daisy was the red heart that I will show here with my littlest and only girl holding it and leave it up to her to figure out there is something inside, she wiggled it around and we heard something inside there.  I almost want to bust it open but I don’t’ really want to break a heart, if you know what I mean?

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On my way home crossing over both those bridges again and nearly running out of gas, well not really but it was on E for a good long while and I was in dead stop traffic and I got a little nervous so I got off in Paramount for a little gas and jumped back onto the parking lot.  I was very hungry so I stopped to get a little kids hamburger and water from McDonald’s where I was offered a free hot fudge sunday and of course I took it, it was a gift.  One should never say no to a gift, just remember that. Finally after detours, gas and free ice-cream I made it to take my littlest and only girl to her big cheer reunion event.  And that was that.

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I’m not exactly finished yet, lastly, I’m so excited because this Sunday, tomorrow the hours will be going live and I’m just honored to be a part of these 32 other woman who will be sharing this month a picture shot between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7:59 and I’m in the first pool.  And my shot well it’s nothing very exciting and I was very intimidated to be with all these talented gals but for me it was a real live true moment that meant the world to me.  It was just a glimmer in time and a very every day moment but it will never happen exactly the same way it happened in that moment.  With one click I got it and well, sounds like I’m building it up quite a bit, it’s a very normal every day moment actually but to me, it means something. 

happy weekend

Well of course I will be posting pictures of food, I’m on a mission and food is a big part of my life.  So last night I made grilled teriyaki chicken with a slice of pineapple, a kale salad and a tiny bit of rice.  The picture below is the soccer players plate, he can get away with a little more carbs since he is so active.  It may look big but looks are deceiving because for years now we all (including) motorcycle man use a salad plate as our dinner plate.  This is all piled on a salad plate and the kale salad was a first.  I have tried kale chips and I have put kale in soups but never have I attempted to make a salad of it.  The results were awesome, soccer player loved it, motorcycle man liked it, I really, really loved it and the littlest and only girl tried some left over today and she likes it.  I think I’m on to a new healthy salad.

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I took these images at night and although they don’t look very natural with natural light like I adore, they look okay.  My Canon 20D would have never taken a picture this well at night….EVER.

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Dinner table at night (just practicing) 

In the salad I put kale, swiss chard, carrots, red cabbage and dried cranberries.  I just used a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  I’m excited to add this to the rotation.

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I tried a new breakfast too.  My sister Sarah sent me this awesome link pop sugar for recipe ideas and this was a breakfast idea which includes avocados, one of my favorite things to eat.  Half an avocado with an egg cooked in it’s pit hole.  I cooked it on 425 for 20 minutes.  If the idea of hot avocado doesn’t appeal  to you, don’t bother.  I personally didn’t mind it.  I eat avocado rolls that are warm and like them so I figured why not?  The egg yolk remains runny but again, I love my eggs over easy so this worked for me.  I total this breakfast at 217 calories, the avocado was small and my fitness pal gave it that number calculation.

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My feet still hurt but hello, it’s only day 4!!

My feet hurt…..again, so guess what? Read and find out.

January 1 2014

look at that first shot of the back-end! Goodness to Betsy! And the only reason I’m smiling in the second shot is because so many people in their befores look miserable, I didn’t want to look that way, even though I should be feeling that way.  I’m hoping I can slim down and do this B-town t-shirt some honest to good justice, let’s watch and see as the days go by.

So over the past few years I seem to fluctuate anywhere from 165 to 183ish.  I think 183 has been my tops-ish.  Used to be at one time 160 was my tops, then 170 and so on…..geesh.  January of 2013 I started my weight at 165 and from there just went up and up with an occasional very short-lived down.  In 2012 I ate really, really healthy for 6 weeks straight, no sugar or processed and I lost 20 pounds.  I was so proud of myself.  I tend to just fall back to comfortable no thinking sort of lifestyle which always, always leads to more weight on my (small) frame.  I’m 5’ 4” and I have sort of small feet, and hands and a tiny head, my body should all match up.  When my feet begin to hurt, like really really hurt, then I know things are really wrong.  I get up and limp around like I’m more like 85 rather than 43.  I also know if I just shed less than 8 pounds my feet will feel better.  My goal this month is to get rid of 5 pounds.  A small attainable goal.  I’m going to watch my calorie intake and move more, I’m going to drink a little more water.  How is that for CHANGE.  I hope I can share my positive change all year with whoever is interested.  I get so encouraged by my friends and family who support me in my ventures.  I’m not proud of these (before) pictures.  They were a wakeup call, especially the one from behind, holy WOW, somewhat of a wide load.  I mean if you cover the bottom half of me you can see I’m meant to be smaller.  So here we go.  I will only do status updates at the beginning of each month.

Things I hope will change

The pain in my feet will go away

My skin will heal

My sleep will improve

My energy will increase

Let’s see if these things begin to CHANGE.  I love my new word, the possibilities are endless.  It’s up to me to make better choices.

If you want to see a brief history of my weight I posted about it a while back HERE.

Now some images from the New 70D!!!

IMG_0016this is me showing the soccer player how my iPhone can be used as a remote!  I have never had a remote before and an iPhone remote is off the charts amazing!!

IMG_0021and here I stand using the iPhone remote in my most favorite jammies on the planet (thank you Mandy)

IMG_0046Put on the 50mm I already had to see what it would be like.  The color with the Canon 70D seems so extra crisp and vibrant.  

IMG_0049Playing with the 50mm some more.  It’s the ONLY lens previously used, I’m most comfortable with it. 

IMG_0033I got a really cool “craft-a-doodle” book for Christmas and I’m practicing.  My first cupcake.

IMG_0091Lastly.  My lunch today.  I calculated it to be about 370 cals, it’s so yummy and my kids love these wraps too.  

gifts

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I truly believe with every ounce of my being that each day is a gift!  From the moment I wake and my feet hit the wood floor of our home.  There are literally miracles around us everywhere.  From gorgeous sunrises to sunsets, the shifting clouds, the dancing shadows, the glistening grass.  It’s endless!  My cousin Jeanie has invited me to be a part of gratitude for the entire year.  We are making a jar and each day we will at the very least place once piece of paper in that jar of something good that happened for us in our day, a small miracle, a funny moment etc.  and at the end of 2014 we can open the jar and re-visit all the good things that happened for us in 2014.  I’m excited and I have a feeling we will need really BIG jars.

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Oh goodness, I’m just beyond excited too because in 2014 I will be shooting a brand new camera!  I will always cherish and most likely still use my 20D but I have been upgraded to a 70D and have lots to learn, it’s like a mini computer! I’m wondering if my photography will improve, change, look different.  We will see.  We were given bonus’ this year at work and it was a really pleasant awesome surprise.  Since me and motorcycle man work together….he got one too!  He has the biggest most generous heart you could ever imagine and he gave me part of his bonus so I could get this new camera.  I almost hyperventilated when I handed the cashier all that money at once (in cash) for the new camera.  I’m so thankful and so excited and I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings in terms of photo’s and memories and miracles.  I hope you will join me in finding the blessing in each day and visiting me here to connect.