Mid Week 1

The workouts:

Apparently my arms are wimps.

On Monday we worked out chest and triceps and on Tuesday we did back and biceps. Now it is Thursdays. I am STILL feeling like even moving my arms to get to my mouse and keyboard is hard. Granted, it’s not NEARLY as hard as it was yesterday, but it is a little ridiculous. My legs that got worked out yesterday with more intensity than my arms? Nothing. Just a little bit of tightness, no jelly legs, no soreness. Arms – get it together.

For the first time in my life I am actually enjoying working out. This may be due to the fact that I’m not going to the gym for cardio at the moment. Cardio has always felt a little stagnant to me. I really hope that over time I fall in love with the concept of lifting. Its fun and I enjoy it right now and I hope that doesn’t go away. I’m excited to see progress not only in actual muscle definition and strength building, but also to see how much I’ll eventually be able to lift.

Today is day 4 of the Jamie Eason work out program: abs and shoulders. My least favorite and probably the weakest part of me. My ability to move tomorrow and Saturday will likely be comical.

The food:

As for food? Well, this morning I hate some egg white muffins that I prepped on Sunday. They were egg whites with bell peppers and onions. They were, let’s say, less than spectacular. By that I mean – they were terrible and I couldn’t eat them. It was super sad because they looked so good! Maybe if I had eaten them fresh it would have been okay. That is something I will have to try in the future.

The rest of the food has been pretty okay. I suck at making chicken, so any chicken I prepped on Sunday is kinda dry and weirdly seasoned. Note to self: let Mac cook the chicken next time, he is WAY better at it. The turkey meatballs are delicious, especially with a tiny bit of tomato sauce or ketchup. I love black beans too. I am working on trying to find a way to curb my chocolate cravings. I’ll probably try making a smoothie with the chocolate protein powder and cocoa powder soon.

Watching Mac eat Taco Bell yesterday was rough. I imagine that going forward any type of watching other people eat things I love it going to be the hardest part. I will have to remember what I’m working toward and that those things are really not awesome for me.

The miles:

The only issue with all of these things is it doesn’t log a whole lot of miles. That makes me severely under my average of 2.9mi a day goal.

So over the last few days (1/13 & 1/14) I did a total of: 2.6mi

Phase 2 of the Jamie Eason LiveFit program there will be more cardio, so maybe that mile count will get back up – we’ll see how it goes.

total miles TYD: 31.1

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New Beginnings

Today I begin fresh. Meals prepped. Jamie Eason 12 week program begun.

It’s gonna be an adjustment. My body doesn’t like not having sugars and lots of carbs. I got pretty sick (partly headache partly change of diet). So we’ll see how it goes!

Today’s miles brought to you by:

  • A walk to Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • A bit of cardio at the gym
  • A really long grocery trip
  • Meal prepping

Today’s total: 3.8 mi

YTD total (including miles I tracked starting 1/3/15): 28.5

Today’s Miles Brought to you by….

I went to Vegas for CES. I packed flip flops (as per usual) and my boots. I didn’t expect to need anything else. I’ve always walked long distances in my flip flops with no issue. Not this trip. After the second day, I was wishing I had brought tennis shoes.

So I bought some new Nikes and fell in love with them. I decided that I could easily use them as motivation to help make a resolution to be more active in 2015.

So here we are. My goal is to walk/run/go-the-equivalent-of 1,000 miles in 2015. That’s about 2.7 miles per day. That’s a heck of a lot more than I did in 2014. Each day, I’ll post about how those miles happened and maybe a fun picture of the shoes in action. Hopefully, by the end of the year not only will I have been more active, but there will be a fun story of things that I did in these awesome shoes.

YTD total (including miles I tracked starting 1/3/15): 24.7

Here’s to an adventurous year!

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p.s. I think they need a name, or a title or something – ideas?

What They Didn’t Tell Me When I Signed My Offer to Work at a Start Up…

Today my company, Leeo Inc, officially came out of stealth mode and launched a product: The Leeo SmartAlert NightLight.

It has been a crazy day of our marketing team arriving at 3:30am, competitions to see who can guess how many units we will sell, and multiple champagne toasts. Our team is absolutely spectacular and it has been so much fun working at Leeo and seeing the product come to this point. I know that it will continue to be an adventure as we figure out our place in this Smart Home space and start to develop new products.

Deciding to work at Leeo was one of the best things I’ve done, but also one of the most stretching for me as a person. I moved to the Silicon Valley to work for a start up (not Leeo, but that’s another story for another day) and coming from the conservative world of working at a University, that change was something I was entirely unprepared for.

From pop culture we have all come to expect start ups to be super casual, filled with employee perks, and have employees working more than 40 hours a week. While a lot of start ups have awesome perks like that, there are also things that are not quite what media has presented.

Here is the list of 5 things I was unprepared for when I took a job at a Start Up.

  1. Massive Weight Gain: One massive pro of working at a start up is that they feed you. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Snacks. Alcohol. All of it. Con: if you don’t have AMAZING self control, you will gain weight. A lot of the meal options aren’t super healthy unless you like to only eat salad for three meals a day everyday. Hence they also offer you a free gym membership! 🙂
  2. Hive Culture: While Leeo doesn’t have this quite as much as other start ups I’ve seen (Good Job Us!). In the Valley at some start ups there is definitely a culture of “stay at the office, live near the office, eat at the office, do EVERYTHING close to the office so you can work at much as possible while still feeling like you have a personal life.” A few companies have made it so that employees never have to leave the office: onsite doctors, massages, food (for your family too), nap rooms, everything. While working somewhere you like to be is great, having a work life balance is also really important. You have to be super intentional about making sure you spend time on things outside of work
  3. Being Exhausted, like ALL the time: I suck at being rested. But working at a start up has made it 10x worse. I don’t know that it is anything specific, but the weight of actually being responsible for things and having REAL pull over what happens at work makes me anxious and affects my sleep. When you work in such a small company, things you do actually can change the “world,” and that makes me work harder and become more invested, which makes me more tired. Don’t get me wrong, it is worth it, just not something I was prepared for.
  4. Little to No Structure or Guidance: Chances are, if you’re at a small start up, a lot of the things you’re doing have never been doing before. You will likely have to do things without any guidance, because no one else has ever done it before either. There also aren’t any processes for anything. I am SUCH a process driven person, this might be the hardest thing for me (notice the present tense, I’m still working on it).
  5. Responsibility: This ties in with being tired. People obviously talk about how you actually have things that you can change at start ups (like I just did, haha), but it is super real. No matter how many time people told me, “If you come here, you can have real decision making power,” or, “here you will have true ownership over things,” I was not prepared. I have weight in the company. I am in charge of things. It is a lot of responsibility. And I absolutely love it. While this is a hard thing, it may also be the most rewarding.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I’ve been asked many times for my stuffed bell pepper recipe. I figured it was time to actually write up a recipe and share it! 

I will warn you – I’ve forgotten a lot of the exact measurements, but I’ll try my best to guestimate. 

Groceries you’ll need (to feed about 2-6 people):

  • 1lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 can Corn
  • 2 8oz. cans Tomato Sauce
  • 2-4 (depending on how many people you want to feed) Green Bell Peppers (you can get another color if you don’t like the green ones)
  • 1.75-2 cups Minute Brown Rice
  • 1/4 of an onion, chopped
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper

I use a deep wok-type pot/pan thing to cook the “innards” (as we lovingly call them in my house), a deep pot for the peppers, and a 9×13 pan to cook the final product in the oven. I’ve also found that a wooden spoon is my utensil of choice to get everything done with as little dishes as possible. 

Step-by-Step:

  1. Take your meat out to thaw and pre-heat the oven to 350
  2. Chop your onion
  3. Cut your bell peppers into either thirds or fourths depending on how the pepper naturally lend to cutting (look at the number of humps on the bottom and that will tell you how many pieces it will be).IMG_2816
  4. Fill your deep pot with enough water to cover your bell peppers and throw them into it. Once the peppers are in the water, put a little salt in with them and turn the burner on high to begin the water boiling. (NOTE: AS SOON as the water starts to boil, DRAIN the water and take the peppers out and place them into the 9×13 pan)
  5. Once your meat is thawed enough to start cooking, start browning and breaking up your ground turkey and add the chopped onions
  6. After the meat is browned, add the full 8oz of one can of tomato sauce and about 3/4 of the second can. Stir.
  7. Empty the can of corn (including the water, it will help the rice cook) into the pan
  8. Add your rice. I use only 1.75 cups because 2 is a lot, but if you’re hungry or serving 6 people, go ahead and add the full 2 cups
  9. Stir everything together
  10. Add your spices (Chili Powder, Garlic Salt, Pepper). I think once upon a time the recipe I originally followed asked for 1/2 tbs of each (???), but I feel the safest way to do it is to add a little at a time and taste as you go. Each person has a different taste (for instance, my husband will never say no to more chili powder).
  11. Once your spices are stirred in and you are happy with the taste, make sure that there look
    s to be enough moisture (it shouldn’t look overly dry). If it looks dry, add maybe 3-4oz of water. Cover with a lid and let it sit for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.IMG_2815
  12. Taste the mix to see when the rice is ALMOST cooked (if it’s too crunchy, stir and let the mix sit covered a few more minutes, feel free to add a bit more water to help the process too). 
  13. You’ll remember back when I said to put the Bell Peppers into the water, I mentioned taking them out as SOON as the water started boiling. This is to make sure they’re not over cooked before we put them in the oven, otherwise they’ll be weirdly mushy. So, once you’ve removed the peppers from the water and lined them in the 9×13, they’ll be ready for your “innards”
  14. Place the “innards” in each section of the your bell peppers in the 9×13 pan. There will be enough mixture to cover the bell peppers entirely and likely enough to have some left over. (Sometimes, if i cook only 2 peppers, I just place the extra mixture on the empty half of the 9×13 and then save it for left overs the next day.)
  15. Cover the 9×13 with foil and place it in the over
    IMG_2819
  16. Cook for 30 minutes

Once your peppers are out of the oven, enjoy!! If you want, adding a little Mexican cheese blend is always a good choice!

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February Birchbox

February Birchbox

Let’s start with this, I love birchbox.

This month my products were:
– Harvey Prince Hello Fragrance
– Coastal Scents Revealed Palette
– Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo
– Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Conditioner
– Harney&Sons Wrapped Tea Sachets

Favorites of the box: Shampoo and Conditioner
Could do without: The teas

The shampoo and conditioner made my hair so silky smooth and no frizz! Glorious!

Teas just aren’t my thing, maybe if you like tea you would have liked them, but they just weren’t my thing.

Looking forward to march!

Asking for Prayer

Asking for prayer for yourself is hard. 

I often ask my family to help pray for certain friends, but when it comes to my own struggles or situations, I don’t say anything. There are tons of things in my life that need prayer. Honestly,  I personally don’t even pray for them enough.

I realized yesterday that admitting to someone else, even in the context of prayer, that you have issues that you need help with takes a lot of humility. I have no problem admitting that I need Jesus. I absolutely need Jesus. But allowing someone else into the process of helping me ask the Lord for help humbles me. My prayer life isn’t perfect. I need others to pray for me when I don’t. Letting others know that there is something wrong and that needs prayer requires that I actually trust the Lord to help solve them. I can’t just attempt to solve them on my own and let everyone think there was no issues in the first place. I have to admit that God is in charge and he will help fix those things.

Maybe this isn’t something you struggle with. Maybe it’s just my pride that has grown so big that it gets in the way. Maybe its the culture around me that tells me that asking for help is unacceptable. Whatever the reason, I’m hoping that the community I’ve found myself in during this season will help me grow and come into a life where asking for prayer and praying for others is free and easy and comforting; and dare I even hope, joyful. 

So please pray for me. For me to find asking for prayer easier. For my marriage. For my out of control emotions. For my work-life balance. For patience. For friendships and community. For a sense of calling. For determination and endurance. For growth in my spiritual life. For anything you can think of. 

Thursday

Thursday was nuts.

It all started with a [relatively] early morning travel to the happiest place on earth. It was so fun to get to hang out with siblings! They’re finally to the age that they don’t just annoy the junk out of me but I can actually talk to them and enjoy their company as little humans. =] we went on all the “scary” California Adventure rides. Raleigh had never been on them and loves them. I loved getting to do that with him for the first time. Addison even got a sparkly pink set of ears. It was great.

Of course, the last ride we went on falsified a 25 minute wait time that turned in 50 and I ended up leaving the park late. 1.5 hours of traffic later, I found myself at Ontario airport just in time to board my plane to San Francisco.

Holy crap. I walked off that tiny United Express plane and out into the [surprisingly] cold Bay breezy air and it was like a whole new world. [Cue cheesey Disney song here….] Miley Sirus’ song “Party in the USA” immediately popped into my head. Welcome to the land of fame excess. So maybe it wasn’t fame…but it was money, luxury, excess. Every car that drove by seemed to be bright and new. Every other person was getting picked up in a town car by a driver. Wow. Does everyone in the bay own their own hipster-green-start up? I want a Volvo too! Sign me up.

As I was watching the cars go by, I saw a car with bright blue headlights (the kind you hate in your rear view mirror because they blind you) pulling up. “Alicia?” Well I’ll be damned, that car was here for me. It was some fancy Lexus nonsense that blew my mind; probably the most luxurious car I’ve ever ridden in.

It took me 20 short minutes to Menlo Park where it left me at the Stanford Park Hotel. There I was, shorts and off the shoulder tee in this 5 star hotel looking like a moron. I checked in, was given a goody bag and told that any movie and mini bar items would be picked up by the party who reserved my room. Excuse me? They’ll pay for alcohol AND entertainment?

I walked up to my room, it was huge, as expected. I fell asleep on the gargantuan bed quicker than you can say, “you’re spoiled.”

Today, Friday, was even more of a whirlwind and I bet tomorrow will be too. But that story will come later. Stay tuned!

A Full Weekend

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I didn’t realize that Monday was Memorial Day. That makes this a 5 day weekend! Awesome! Though that is definitely great, it will be a busy, not so quiet weekend.

Per the request of the pretty lady in the middle, I plan to blog my way through these next few days.

So here’s the itinerary:
Thursday: Disneyland with family for my sister’s 7th birthday
Friday: An important meeting in the Bay Area
Saturday: Mac’s cousin’s wedding in Bakerfield
Sunday: Glamor Photo shoot with Nicki in San Diego (hint hint: you should check out http://www.weheartglamour.com)

I might even go to Disneyland again on Monday, but we’ll see how I’m feeling on Sunday night.

So it’s going to be a full but exciting few days! Thanks to Kay and Kelsey for helping me outfit plan. I’ll be super stylish thanks to them! So outfit pictures to come as the days go on!

Stay tuned for the fun!

On Hosea 11

Hosea 11 is a story of God’s divine compassion on his people despite their repetitive forsaking of him. God, though he is just and therefore punishes them by exile, also finds compassion on them and is able to restore them to their land. Many great values can be taken from Hosea 11. First, the importance of being faithful to the Lord is exemplified as the Israelites are seen forsaking God and therefore being punished (11:1-7). Second, the Lord’s mercy is shown through his heart softening toward his people (11:8-9). Third, the Lord’s faithfulness to his people is also revealed as he brings them back to their home land after exile (11:10-11). These values of the importance of our faithfulness, the Lord’s mercy, and the Lord’s faithfulness are a great illustration of the life of believers today.

                Hosea 11 first shows how important it is for the people of God to be faithful to God. If they are not faithful, punishment will indeed come to them (11:5-7). Not only should impending punishment be a reason to be faithful, but also the reminder that God has cared for his people as his own child (11:1) and raised them (3-4). It is for these reasons that the people of God should continue to be faithful to him. Yet the people, whether it is Israel in Hosea 11 or believers in the present, fail to be faithful. While their failure does bring consequences, it also leaves room for God’s mercy.

                Because consequences come for faithlessness, God’s mercy is able to be shown in a greater light. Hosea 11 shows God’s heart growing warm and his compassion increasing toward his people (11:8-9). Even though he had punished his people for their sins, he found compassion upon them because of his divine nature. The people of Israel were not wiped out and forgotten because God had compassion upon them in Hosea 11. While we might experiences consequences today, we are not wiped out or put to death, as the people of Israel were also not entirely wiped out. This mercy that the Lord shows his people is also a reason they should continue to be faithful to him. The people do not experience God’s fierce anger because of his divine mercy. Instead, they experience his compassion and his faithfulness.

                The Lord’s mercy and his faithfulness go together. God’s faithfulness to his people is shown in Hosea 11 in verses 10-11 as he brings his people back to their home after exile. He remains faithful to his people through the exile and eventually returns them to their land. Despite their lack of faithfulness, the Lord is still faithful to them. In the same way, the Lord is continually faithful to believers today. While it might not be as drastic as bringing us back from exile, it manifests in other ways. The Lord’s faithfulness to his people is yet another reason for his people to also continue to be faithful to him.

                Hosea 11 demonstrates the importance of faithfulness to God as well as God’s mercy and faithfulness to his people. It is important for the people of God to remain faithful to the Lord, not just because he calls them his children or because he cares for them, but also because he is merciful and faithful to them. These values found in Hosea 11 of the importance of being faithful to God, God’s mercy, and also God’s faithfulness all tie together, not just for the people of Israel, but also for the people of God today.