Back to work and real life


Vacation is all over.  I wonder why they go by so very fast.  We did have a wonderful time though.  We wrapped it up with our Sunday at Balboa where the kids went parasailing.  We couldn’t go on the boat with them so I only have the shot of them pulling away from the dock.  All three went at once with Abbie in the middle and they all came back smiling big and said it was lots of fun.  Abbie actually wished the ride could have been longer.

the boatThere they go.  Abbie has a smile.

tail gateafter the sail, we ate dinner off the back of the truck.

Yesterday back to the grind.  I got up early met my pals for our morning workout.  I had proclaimed Monday as meatless a few weeks ago so yesterday my oldest, his girl and I went shopping for our dinner.  They thought a nice meatless Mexican themed meal would be perfect.  Maddy made the salsa homemade and it was full of flavor and if you like spicy, it was for sure spicy and so very good.  I made the cowboy caviar or as Joyce calls it Texas caviar (either way…it’s amazing)  we used Maddy’s mom’s recipe because this is something they eat on a regular basis and I had no idea in fact I had the hardest time even locating black-eyed peas, I finally asked at the third market where I was told it was a canned vegetable.  I was looking in the beans…. I guess I should have known better? They look like a bean to me even though they are called peas.  But I suppose they really are peas?  I still have no idea.  I should though considering my mom sort of raised us on them and also I like to cook up a batch on New Year’s but I start from dry bean…. Or is it dried pea? My pictures were taken in a rush and with my iPhone so I’m a little disappointed in that part but the meal itself was very good.  Just good old bean burritos with lots of fresh toppings, lettuce, the homemade salsa, no cheese for the vegans but Dylan and Dad couldn’t have a burrito without it.  No meat.  Yes! No cheese. No.  Don’t mess with their cheese.   Austin made homemade guacamole; we had olives and chips to dip into the salsa or the cowboy caviar.  I could eat that stuff by the spoonfuls and it’s all pretty good stuff for you.

cowboy caviar

 the cowboy caviar that I will for sure make again and again, thanks Joyce for the suggestion

Maddy's salsaMaddy’s homemade salsa

cooking the beansAustin tending to the beans

meatless mondaythe meal

I’m disappointed in my progress with my healthy lifestyle journey but remember I have a problem with this instant result kind of world.  I expect my body to do the same.  Patience and persistence.  My two big P words to focus on this month.  Not giving up.  Nope I’m not.  My good friends keep reminding me of it being a lifestyle.  I have made much better choices with water over soda and sometimes salads with oil and vinegar type dressings but I did eat those fried cookie dough balls at the fair and I have dabbled in some not so righteous food here or there.  If I can get healthy and still dabble than it’s not all that bad. Cause I’m not giving up sweets.  I’m NOT.  I’m just a little stubborn.

photoThe support I have in my health, it’s really big.   I like getting up early because of the common goals we share and the fun we have.

Vacation in the West

Warning.  This blog post includes lots of pictures and little words.



The West family is on vacation.  It’s going to be such fun because you see, our vacation is one of those stay-cations and well because we live in sunny Southern California this makes it pretty easy to stay home and still have a little fun.  Last night we decided to go watch the sun set in Huntington Beach. The girls were supposedly just going to get their feet wet but as it turns out, they found it way too tempting to just stick their toes in.  Below are just a few images from our sunset watching.


IMG_5453 Before they decided to get all the way in.







All these bird shots are for my friend Gabriela who love these birds. 




This girl is just full of really good energy.  She makes me smile.  


with her Uncle


Those back shots are always so cute. 

IMG_7511Proof I was there too;)


Sun set so pretty, always so pretty at the beach


Us – more proof


This one has my heart, I actually like watching him more than the sunset.  I can’t help it.  

Today I got up and met with my Activate crew and worked out a little.  Then I got back home and crawled back into bed just a little bit since I didn’t have to get ready for work then we hit up our hike.  Destination, Sturtevant Falls.  We invited Miss Kaitie and that’s another cool thing about stay-cation.  We can take along friends if we like.  So we hiked to the water fall.  It was tiny but you see we have been hiking to this fall for quite some time now and have packed in each and every one  of our babies and I have done it pregnant with two of the three.  The fall was the very smallest we have ever seen. It’s not a very difficult hike, except the last part that’s a big hill, a big, big hill.  Below are a few images from that little hike.  What’s next?  Not too sure.  We have plenty of ideas.  So far so fun.


So it began at the rail.  Where I added some flair

IMG_5531Then I got just a little excited to spot some wild berries growing on the trail

IMG_7529Do you see a heart?  I swear I see a heart! Pretty rad huh?

IMG_7587This is the heart part.  Dylan showed me this one


“look mom! a heart”


okay, I cheated on this one.  I made it.  Boy my pants got dirty.

IMG_7600Been a while since we planked.  or as I call it, face down.  


and another


he thought it would be really cool to plank and a plank.

IMG_5563Arn’t they cute.  I think they are cute.  They were brave and went in.  All the way.

IMG_5536This one decided she was more of a city girl but still had an okay time

IMG_5557We brought little red.  He will be joining us for all our adventures

IMG_7566He loves to get around

IMG_7569Rich found a seat with his name on it….litterally

IMG_7579Dylan took a picture of his mom and dad

IMG_5584Dylan is a strong man boy and I aspire to do moves like this one day

IMG_7590He had some help from his strong dad, that’s where he gets his he man like strentgh

IMG_7623I like this one in black and white

IMG_7611But then again, he is a tree hugger like his mama

IMG_5534Opps almost forgot to show you the tiny falls

IMG_7606Heading back.  I’m always in the back taking pictures

IMG_5590of like flowers and stuff

IMG_7617Tiny break on the long road back, the long steep road.

I made Mother Earth’s homemade hair rinse and share my top five mags

IMG_5083My top five magazines of all time.  Clearly not a fasion girl or even fitness.  Max also equally enjoys my top five and offered to display them for today’s post. 

I’m a huge lover of magazines.  When I have free time I like to sit and read through them.  Look at the pictures and imagine that I will plant that perfect garden, make homemade concoctions, cook that fabulous healthy meal. etc. and so on. These are the types of magazines I read (below and the order in which they are my favorite)

Mother Earth Living (thank you Carol West for the introduction)  It’s my top

 Mary Jane’s Farm (thank you Aunt Lynn for the introduction) it’s number two

 Real Simple, I have loved this magazine since they first started the publication, I miss all the photo mosaics and I hated the period when they went through paper creations, if you are a reader you will know what I mean, but I love photography so of course I love the photo mosaics, they sort of have gone back to the basics which is nice.

Runner up in fourth, Sunset.  It’s just rad

In fifth, Dwell magazine which is absolutely nothing like me but I adore the simplicity, and sophistication of it.

The recipe for the hair rinse came straight out of July/August issue of Mother Earth Living.  Here is the recipe (below)

1/2 cup of mint leaves, I loaded the leaves, I measured one cup.  I’m like a more is better kind of person


1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (kept it to recipe here) 


1 cup boiling water


I have no idea what I’m focusing on but…..

IMG_5048shooting a camera and pouring boiling water is not as easy as it looks, when I finished, I was like where did all this water on the ping pong table come from?  The ping pong table being my staging area.

Then you let it completely cool and strain, no photo’s of the straining because it got dark but the strainer, have a picture of that.


So the article claims this rinse will maintain healthy, shiny hair and should be done once a week.  It felt squeaky clean, that’s for sure.  I’m never real consistent with anything I do except being a mom, wife and drinking my daily coffee but I do think I will do this more than once.

I also spent a greater part of Sunday washing windows inside and out for Austin and Dylan’s room.  I really should have taken a before picture because it’s sort of hard to shoot a clean window and prove that it’s as clean as it looks with my naked eye.  They were really, realy bad and the shutters, were pretty thick with dust.  Poor kids.  So today, I’m sore, really really sore like I did hundreds of lunges, yes my legs of all things are sore.  Up and down, with those windows.