Friday, April 30, 2010

How Does 8PM Happen So Fast?

So, it's already 8 o'clock on a Friday night. Where does the day go?!?

I may Chop Suey, except I used sausage instead of ground turkey.

Honestly, I have no idea why I call this Chop Suey. I've had multiple people look at me and say, "Chop Suey?... But, I thought Chop Suey was..." and then they trail off because nobody seems to know what Chop Suey really is. So, in that case, this is it. Go make it, it's awesome. Here's the recipe.

Jasmine's Chop Suey

1 Big Can Tomato Soup
1 Can of Tomatoes (I usually use whole, but not today)
1 lb ground meat (I used sausage tonight)
1 box whole wheat penne
1 bell pepper (totally optional)


Boil your pasta.
Brown the meat and the optional peppers.

Pour in the mater soup and the maters.

Stir. Throw in your boiled pasta.


Before chow time, we went for a run. It was glorious. We're doing it again in the morning. Beautiful day. In fact, I took my editing to an outdoor cafe today. It was wonderful. I love California. :)

Now, I'm about to settle in with a cup of Joe (aka decaf) and do some more editing while peeking at the Lakers game. Life is good. :)


37 Hours Without Sleep

Sorry for my complete absence yesterday. I am sometimes struck by bouts of insomnia. Wednesday night was one of those nights, which meant I was completely a zombie yesterday. I spent 100% of the day here:

Unfortunately, the insomnia continued until I finally broke down and took a Nyquil at 10pm last night. I then fell into a coma-type state until 7 am when Ryan had to wake me up. I'm still groggy today.

Yesterday, I pouched eggs for the first time ever. This is what you do when you are in a state of hysterical non-sleepness? you ask.


I managed to throw myself together a decent lunch around 1pm.

By the time Ryan got home, I had reached a new level of delirium. He took one look at me and said, "Lay down. I'll make dinner." No problem, buddy.

He threw together a classic boy dinner.

Any dinner you don't have too cook tastes amazing! :)

**Silly Survey**

What's the longest you've gone without sleep?
What do you do when you can't sleep?
How many hours do you aim for each night?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Spend Out" Success!

Today was a day of failure and victory. I will start with the failure.

Well, actually, I will start with breakfast.

Remember that Quaker pancake mix I picked up the other day?

I broke it out today.

I hate syrup, so it's basically butter and peanut butter for me.

Yes, that's a 50% off sticker on there. You guys know I love a bargain.

I realized after I snapped that first pic that my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so I downgraded to one pancake.

So, after breakfast, things went downhill. We ordered pizza last night and there was half of it left this morning. Let's just say that it was all gone by 1pm. Then, I finished off two snack bars, a can of green beans, two persian cucumbers, and... I think that's it... Sigh... Oh, E.D., why do you hate me?... Telling you guys all about that is my way of being accountable. boo.

However, things looked up after Ryan came home. I got my new Lunarfly Nikes in the mail today. Oh, be still my beating heart.

Immediately, I fell in love. I've never had running shoes this cute. EVER! I got a chance to work on this week's "moral," Spend Out. The first thing I thought when I saw these shoes was: I don't want to get them dirty on our running path!

Then, I got my Health magazine in the mail. Again, I was like, "Oh, I don't want to read that yet." I always want to "save" it, since I won't get another mag for a whole month.

THEN, I realized I was on my last "running" bandaid and wanted to save it.

I realized... WHAT AM I SAVING FOR?!?

So, I reminded myself that I need to SPEND OUT. Quit saving everything for later. Enjoy the moment!

I opened up my mag.

Put on my running bandaid (it's covering a blister).

And, I tied up my laces and went out for a run with my hubby! He pushed me SO hard, too.


I felt so bad after my binge today, but my run completely turned that frown upside down. :D

For dinner, I made chicken and rice with brussels sprouts.

Ryan's plate:


After dinner, JGago came over for some after-dinner coffee.

I mixed a bit of this with some instant decaf. Yum!

See? Everyday can be a success. You just have to take the time to something good for YOURSELF, and remember to spend out your goodness. :)

**Silly Survey**

Do you put off things that make you happy so you don't "use them up"?
What are some of the little joys in your life?
What do you do to turn around a bad day?

Have a great night/day everyone!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

(Not) Free Breakfast at Subway

So, I woke up to this on Facebook:

The Facebook thing says, "Free Breakfast for SoCal residents."

I'm in San Diego = SWEET!

I text JGago about it, and she's like, "obviously." So, we head out in search of a Subway. We get there, and they're like, "Yeah... That's for LA only."


LA Only? Um. WE are SoCal. If you get any southern than San Diego, you're in Mexico. Boo. Boo. Boo.

Since we were already out, J and I hit up Starbucks and chatted for a bit. It was still nice. But, free breakfast would have been WAY cool.

Last night, I worked like a demon and Ryan started supper. We made chicken and red pepper spaghetti. And salads. For some reason, I wasn't feeling it. It should have been a perfect post-run dinner, but it just didn't hit the spot. I ended up tupperware-ing it for today's lunch. I ate cucumbers and lemon instead. I'm about to partake of last night's dinner right NOW. Yum!

**Silly Survey**
Do you like spaghetti?
What meat do you use in yours?
What brand of noodles do you buy?

Okay, off to lunch.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Breakfast Find & More Weekend Pics

It's Monday! One of the really great things about working for myself is that I don't dread Mondays. I don't exactly love them, because it means hubby goes back to work, but I don't hate them. It's a beautiful thing. Really.

So, here are some more pictures from our little trip to Syrah this weekend.


I really need to wear high heels all the time just to look like I'm half-way normal.

Anywho, I'm about to have a meeting, so I'll make this quick. I wanted to show you what I found at the 99 Cent Store.


I've never had this before, and I'm stoked to give it a go. I'll let you know.

P.S. It's Spend Out Day 1. Wish me luck.

**Silly Survey**
Do you dread Mondays?
If you loved your job, would you still dread the end of the weekend?
Would you prefer to be independently wealthy? :p


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Going Out, Eating In

Hey all! How was your weekend?

Mine was good. I am still waiting on my friend to send me pics from an event we went to on Friday. Here's a sneak peek. More to come! This place was outrageously cool. I don't drink, so I'm always the one standing without a wine glass.

It's very weird for me to see these pics, because I can see every ounce of my "marital bliss" weight gain. I suppose I will call that even further motivation to kick it up a notch and keep on keeping on. :)

Tonight, I made fried chicken. I used whole wheat flour and EVOO for frying, but otherwise, this was just like my Moma made it. YUM.

I served it with steamed broccoli. Yep, serve that greasy mess with broccoli. It's all about balance, people. BALANCE. :p

Now, I'm about to work some more! Oh the life of a writer. :p

**Silly Survey**

What do you do for a living?
Do you like/love/hate your job?
Growing up, what did you want to be?
How many hours per week do you work?


Friday, April 23, 2010

Coconut Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Good Mooooooooooooooorning World!

Have you noticed how awesome the morning starts when you begin with a bowl of oats?!? Holy effingham, it's amazing.

It also helped alot that the first email I read on my blackberry was my editor for my newest (and awesomest) writing gig telling me how fantastic my first article was. Yay! Then, my husband went on and on this morning about what a "cute little wifey" he has. :) Oatmeal and compliments start a day off right, yes?

My oats had the following:

-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup 1%
-1/2 cup whole oats
-1/2 tbsp creamy peanut butta
-1 tbsp sweetened coconut
-a whole lotta yum

I'm about to go do something exercise-y. After that, I'm going to have a productive, nag-free writing day. Wish me luck! :D

**Silly Survey**

How do you take your oats?
Do you eat instant oats or whole oats?
What's your favorite brand of oatmeal?
Do you put fruit in your oats? What kind?


P.S. If you missed my nephew, click here and tell me how amazing and perfect he is! Go now! He's amazing!!! :p

Did you notice that everything is "amazing" today? lol.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm an Aunt! Welcome Baby Braedan!

Meet Braedan Carpenter Flagg, born at 2:43am (EST). He was 6lbs, 12oz, and 20.5 inches long. My little brother is a father. It's crazy to me!!!

This is my first time being an aunt, and it's surreal. I never expected that my little brother (almost 7 years younger) would have babies before me. Life is wacky!

Today has been insanely busy. I hope life is great for you.

What was it like for you to become an aunt or uncle? Weird? Wonderful? Awesome?


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Avatar is Giving Me a Self-Image Issue

So, I recently took on a new writing job that requires me to have a yahoo messenger account. I had to create an avatar. Okay, I technically, didn't have to, but I did. Because it was fun. So sue me.

Here it is:

Yahoo! Avatars

Um. My avatar is cuter than me. :(

Can someone explain why there's no way to make my avatar a little less... skinny? Because that so does not look like me, even if she does have blue eyes and reddish brown hair. So. Not. Me. It feels like I'm letting down scores of teenage girls by having a skinny minny avi. Sigh...

Nag-less is going well. I'm about to go eat lunch. I'll try to snap some pics.

How's your day?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Be Nice More, Nag Less: Day 1

So yesterday was my first day of the 12 Commandments idea. If I had to give myself a grade, it would be a C.

Nagging is in my blood. My mother and grandmother before me pretty much mastered the characteristic to an art, so I'm having to go against both habit and blood (if such things can be attributed to heredity, which I think they can).

Last night, the moment Ryan walked in the door, I went to give him a kiss and a smile. I want him to feel good when he comes home. Atleast, that's my goal. I started to put away his lunch box and do my general follow-him-around-like-a-puppy routine (I work from home. This is standard.), and I tripped over one of two large containers that he'd taken out of the closets on Sunday and hadn't put away.

My instantaneous reaction would be to feel and act SUPREMELY ANNOYED, because I generally pick up after myself, so that kind of thing is "extra" irritating.

What I did was this:


"Babe, can you please--" (pause, as I scream in my head for a dramatic second because I'm supposed to BE NICE MORE, NAG LESS).

"I love you," I continued. "How was your day?"

Okay, so on the surface, I did well. But, honestly, my irritation was just barely contained. I can do better. Really, I can.

The rest of the night was generally rather mild, except for a few moments of defensiveness where I had to remind myself to BE NICE MORE. See, Ryan is my editor, and he's really good at it. Many nights we will sit on the couch, him playing a video game and me reading a chapter of my book to him. When he comments or asks questions, sometimes I get defensive, when I know I should just be thankful I have a husband willing to listen to my rewrites (and rewrites of those rewrites and rewrites of those rewrites) over and over again. He actually enjoys the process, so for me to be a jerk about him not understanding a paragraph is definitely something that I need to work on.

Today, I think I did okay, considering he's at work and I spent the first few hours of my day alone at the San Diego Museum of Art. I seriously love art museums. It's pure joy to me. I particularly love going by myself, because I like to read about the artists almost as much as I like to look at the art itself. I hate when I'm with someone who looks for a second and walks away. It drives me nuts.

Anywho, I did however have to work on my BE NICE MORE rule while I was at the market buying fresh produce. I was walking out to my car and I saw a political bumper sticker that REALLY made my blood boil. I really hate it when people have snarky political bumper stickers. I don't care even which side they are on. I cannot stand snarkiness. I had to really fight myself to not say hateful things in my head. Mission accomplished.

Today, lunch was light, very light, because I had an AMAZING cheese roll while I was at the market. They were fresh and smelled delicious. I couldn't resist. Serious caloric and filling, though, so all I had when I got home were some persian cucumbers sticks with lemon and sea salt. Yum.

Now, I need to get back to work. Have a nice, nag-free day!!! :)

**Survey Questions**

Are you a nag with your significant other? How do you keep yourself from nagging?
Do you have bumper stickers on your car?
Do you follow politics?
Do you have alot of opinions when it comes to politics?
Do you like to go to museums? What kind?

-----------------------For all of the 12 Commandments, click here.

To answer a question from yesterday...

"Spend Out" defined -- I took this phrase from The Happiness Project directly, but maybe a better term for it would be "Use it Up" or "Squeeze Out the Last Drop." Basically it means to "use up" your joy rather than saving things for a more special day or time that may never come. "Using up" spending means using the things you buy. How many times do we buy something and then put it on a shelf because we're afraid to "use it up" or to get it dirty? Or, how often do we rush around through our days just so we can "relax" later in the day or hurry the kids from one place to the next because we want to just get on with our day. We're probably all guilty of that "living for Friday" feeling. Life is always happening, even when you're running errands, even on a Tuesday afternoon. Yes, save time, save money, hurry if you must, but remember to wear that little black dress sometimes, dine on your best linens, and be happy it's a Tuesday night just for the sake of it, because you really can't bank on tomorrow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My 12 Commandments

In the spirit of self-improvement, which admittedly is a luxury of our American world, an idea has sparked in my wild mind. Lest it naggle and flit around like an irritating fruit fly, I have to see it through. For some time I've been wanting to devise a way for me to be a better wife, friend, and all-alround awesome person. I've changed alot since I first lost that 200 pounds and not all of that has been physical. A huge portion, in fact, has been internal.

I've recently been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It's cool. It's basically a right-brained attempt at answering the question of personal happiness, very technical and yet humorous at the same time. Go check it out if you have an interest in such things.

Anywho, back to MY 12 Commandments.

I've wanted to create a way to measure the positive characteristics in my life ever since I heard about Benjamin Franklin's idea of "Moral Perfection." Though this idea is revisited in Rubin's book, I first heard it when I was reguarlarly attending a zendo in Pacific Beach. His program was to focus his attention on one moral "code" each week, and through habit his behaviors and character would improve. LOVE the idea. I have always said that all things we do are the results of habit. His "virtues" are:

TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.

HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

These are awesome and all, but I wanted something a little more Jasmine. Why 12? Well, I'm not religious, which is why I didn't have to stick with 10. Plus, I really couldn't widdle them down to 10. Old Benjamin has 13, which just seems unlucky. So, 12 it is.

Here's mine:

1. Be Nice More, Nag Less.

2. Spend Out.

3. Love as Action.

4. Complain for a Purpose (or Not at All).

5. Listen Closely.

6. Practice Order.

7. Let it Be, Let it Go.

8. Be the Change.

9. Commit Fully.

10. Give Blindly.

11. Thank Life Daily.

12. Be Here Now.

This week (Mon-Sun), I will be focusing on nagging less. This will almost exclusively be practiced within my marriage for obvious reasons. However, the "be nice more" part can be practiced in every situation. Tomorrow, I will post about Day 1 to let you know how it went. I am a major "nagger" so this is going to be rough. Wish me luck.

Housekeeping Stuff. This is still a food blog, but I'm branching out. When you improve one part of your life, all things improve, I think. Let's see how much I can "improve" in the next 12 weeks.

This weekend, I tried the Fiber One Blueberry Muffins for the first time. I was very impressed.

I had some frozen blueberries in the freezer anyway, so I threw maybe 1/2 cup in. Otherwise, I followed the box.

These came out great. Hubby LOVED them.

We ate two before I remembered to take a picture. :p I highly recommend these muffins. Very filling, great taste.

**Survey Time**

Blog Questions

Do you prefer blogs that only talk about food?
Do you like the idea of incorporating a self-improvement section into a "healthy" blog?
Do you follow mostly food blogs?
What other kinds of blogs do you enjoy?
Is your blog focused exclusively on food/exercise?