Might I have 3 jobs?

Tonight is my first night at my new job. I’m excited and nervous, and a little scared. Not really because of the job, more because I realized today that this is my 3rd job. I have my “real” full-time job that I go to Monday-Friday 6-2:30. And then I have my “please please please one day make enough to be my real job” job of doing custom paintings. This I work on 1-2 hours daily, but is not something I get paid hourly for, obviously. And now my new part-time seasonal job, that will be 12-16 hours a week through February. It’s a lot to wrap my head around, and I worry I may be pushing myself past my limit. However there are BIG goals in sight and I need to buckle down and make them happen!

Today was full of laundry and grocery shopping. I’m starting Weight Watchers again tomorrow night, which I am SOOO excited about (and will do a long post tomorrow after the meeting) and yesterday was a Octoberfest Beer Tasting at a friend’s house (Pumpkin Whoopie Pies were a huge hit, and I will post that later too).

I’m hoping all this work will only keep me busy enough not to let my mind get all crazy with anticipation of moving and wedding, but not keep me too busy so that I have no time to blog or love my man. Speaking of Mr. Gaunt, I will be leaning on him a lot to do the “house husband” duties, and I’m sure he will be amazingly supportive as always.

And so I leave you with some adorable pictures of Hula, because until we have kids she is my baby and I think she is just precious!

Week One Weigh In!

Birthday dinner September 12th 2010

Week One Total Loss – 3 Pounds

Mr. Gaunt Loss – 2 Pounds

Woop! That’s not too bad! I ate pretty healthy this week. I only had two lattes, and we made some pretty great dinners. One night I made mashed Sweet Potatoes with Edmame, brocoli and a little turkey sausage all combined. It was amazing! Then Mr. Gaunt made a squash and zucchini stir fry. And last night we went out to eat and got veggies burgers with fruit as our side.

As for running, we completed 4 days of running and have to one more today. They encourage you to take at least every third day off to give your muscles a break, so we took Thursday off. The running itself isn’t too bad, our muscles got really sore on Wednesday, so sore we were both hobbling around like old people. It’s hard to find a rhythm of briskly jogging and not being too winded. We are both just very out of shape, and neither of us have ever been runners.

On a side note my new shoes might be the most comfortable shoes ever!

Next week the plan changes up a bit, which I will post about on Sunday. I’m a little nervous, but will give it my best effort. Today I have an interview for a part-time seasonal position at Pier 1, I’m a little nervous to start working two jobs, but I just have to focus on the goal and stick it out. So far switching to Mr. Gaunt’s team at work is working out very nicely too.

HAPPY SATURDAY TO EVERYONE!

Were serious about getting in shape!

The Perfect Sunday Man

For anyone who has lived closely with me(Mr. Gaunt)knows that Sundays are the bane of my existence. The love hate relationship I have with them, often turns me into a bitchy crying unproductive bump on a log.

Sundays for me are usually:

– Wanting/needing to go grocery shopping, but being too poor.

-Having a mountain of laundry to do, with no quarters, or no time to do it.

-A messy disgusting house that usually puts me in such a funk that I can’t even manage to clean it.

-So much stress that the weekend is almost over and I will have to return to work, that I can’t accomplish anything.

It’s all very pathetic and like I said, unproductive. Sundays are often the day when I let the little things get to me and the world comes tumbling down. The weather pisses me off, money stresses me out, I cry over my lack of house wife skills, and of course any and all feelings of weight/body image comes up. Lets just say Sundays and I are not friends.

At our company picnic on Friday. Drinking Sangria and 11am

Today however was the PERFECT Sunday, in fact, it was the best day of the week! And as cheesy and mushy it is to say, it was all because of my Perfect Sunday Man.

Mr. Gaunt and I have been going through a lot this last week, money, insecurities, family issues, but somehow our communication and ability to understand each other is stronger than ever. He’s been talking to me about his feelings like he never has before. I am so lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful partner. I know that women say “You can’t change a man” but sometimes they just offer up change all on their own. And if your lucky they thank you for inspiring them to do so.

I came home late last night after hanging out with friends to find my ENTIRE house cleaned and all of the laundry sorted! Holy Shit! He even organized my closet and cleaned up my makeup area!  He was in bed all snoring, so I woke him up and kissed him bunches and we laid together and talked to each other for almost and hour. I slept very well. Today he let me sleep in (which is something I NEVER do) until almost ELEVEN! Then he went to the grocery store and bought Whole Wheat Pancake mix, cantaloupe, and stuff to make Mimosas! He made a very yummy breakfast and we ate and listened to Iron and Wine Pandora. We are on the hunt to find the perfect Indie Love song for our first dance at the Wedding.

After Breakfast I laid on the couch and read the two magazines that I have been ignoring for the last week. REAL SIMPLE and Whole Living (previously Body+Soul). My interest in cooking has been at an all time low this summer, as well as blogging, Foodgawker, and all food/health magazines. I’m not sure why I’ve lost interest, but its made me sad. Today though I sat back, relaxed and let myself fall back into the world of amazing food, cooking for my family, and living healthy. It felt so nice, like the old me. I even found a new food blog to crush on Dinner A Love Story. Check it out.

While I read Mr. Gaunt gave me a foot and calf masage…drool…unitl I fell asleep. And so we napped on the couch, for four hours…lol! It was so amazing. One of those naps that you have no regret during and no neck kinks afterward. It’s now 4pm so Mr. Gaunt and I do laundry, that was already nicely sorted and waiting in laundry baskets, quarters on hand.

Then we spent some time searching the web for a recipe to use some ground Turkey and Yellow squash we had. I found this recipe that SHOCKINGLY we had every ingredient on hand…yipee! So we made it, and it was amazing, and a blog post will be up tomorrow on it.

At our favorite restaurant Merles in Littleton on our 1 month of being engaged anniversary.

Part of the reason for our lazy sunday was that it was a SCORCHER out today, and Mr. Gaunt made it clear that I was not to step outside. Heat makes me super bitch, seriously. After dinner when it had cooled down to high 70s…lol…we finished some laundry and went swimming in our pool. While swimming we talked about our plan to start running. Yup, we have made a plan! We are gonna try the “run 1 minute, walk 3 minutes” until we can work up to longer sprints. Neither of us are runners, but we want to start, and we don’t have the money to pay for gym memberships. So we are gonna start Monday. I’m really hoping to get new shoes for my birthday, I’m pretty sure I want the Reebok Easy Tone They’re kinda like the Sketchers Step-ups only not super ugly.

After swimming we went up to Whole Foods and got Green Tea Ice cream and stuff for smoothies. I also decided to switch up our regular Cliff Bars and try the Odwalla Bars They are lower in fat (2g vs 6g) and were on sale, plus they have a Mocha flavor that I really wanted to try. I’ll give you a review next week after I’ve had a few flavors.

So now we are just sitting on the couch winding down. Next week I’m gonna talk to my boss AGAIN about transferring to Mr. Gaunt’s team, it’s all taking forever. I also think I might try to get a part-time seasonal job this winter. We finally sat down and budgeted the wedding, and if we are going to be able to pay for everything without getting into debt we need to make some extra money. Yes it will suck to work so much, but it will be worth it to be less stressed when we move and get married.  So I’ll be looking into this in the coming months. We are also in the beginning stages of building our credit, and deciding whether to keep my car or not. Until then my focus is and will continue to be the happiness and success of my family. And Thank you Mr. Gaunt for turning a usually crappy Sunday into a Perfect Sunday. Love.

Woah Nelly, sorry for the lack of posts.

Crappy weather at DIA

I’m not really sure why I havent posted anything. It could be that we are having AWFUL weather here (snow, rain, hail, wind). I am so mad because I thought summer was on the way, and now I have to dig the sweaters out again! LAME! The cold weather has made me grumpy, cold, and tired and pretty much unmotivated to do much of anything.

Mr. Gaunt and I have also been spending a fair amount of time talking about our future plans. We have decided that we are in fact moving to Washington within the next year! This has been a long long debate for us. Mr. Gaunt grew up here in Colorado, and his mom lives here. I however grew up in the PAcific Northwest, and can’t see myself planting my roots anywhere else. We would like to get married and have kids in the next few years, and I just really need to be with my friends and family.

When I moved to Colorado in September of 2006 I never thought I would stay here forever. I was young (had JUST turned 21) and was looking to spread my wings a little and see what else was out there. Meeting Mr. Gaunt had not been on the agenda, and I knew right from the start that if we started dating moving might be an issue. To be honest I probably would have left Colorado 6 months after I got here, had I not met Mr. Gaunt. It just isn’t my cup of tea. I mean its lovely and all, but it’s too different from Washington, I just can’t get past all the things I loved about home.

It has been a huge ongoing struggle/fight between us for the last 3.5 years, but we have been seeing a therapist and learning how to communicate better and I think we finally have made up our minds.

Now the logistics come into play.

When will we move?

Where will we move?

Where will we work?

How can we afford it?

These are all excellent questions, but scary too. I don’t have the answers yet. Part of me feels like we should PLAN PLAN PLAN so we know exactly what we are doing. The other part of me thinks we should just take a leap of faith that things will work out and the pieces will fall into place when we need them to.

I’m a RIGHT BRAIN person with a splash of OBSESSIVE NEUROTIC in me. Fun times!

ha! Thats my Piggy Bank!

Money is the biggest issue. Mr. Gaunt and a friend took an ad out on Craigslist to do some handy man type work on the side. They have gotten lots of hits for jobs. Its exciting and kinda worrisome. I know we need the money, I just hate him being gone 12 hours out of the day…)=

Im still trying to figure out what I can do (on top of my regular 40hour a week job) to also bring in some extra cash. Hmmm.

In August we have to talk to our landlord about our lease signing options. Ideally we would sign a 6 month lease and move in March of this next year. Which gives us 10 months to save aprox. $4,000 to move. Seems kind of possible…maybe.

Then yesterday the shit hit the fan. I was driving to work at 5:45 am on the freeway (225) when my car lost power and I pulled over to the side of the road, shut the car off and called Mr. Gaunt. Luckily I was right by Ms. G’s house, so we called her and she came and picked me up.

Long story short we had AAA tow my car to a car shop, then went to breakfast. At breakfast the car shop called me and told me that something ver bad happened with X Y and Z and that my engine was destroyed. AWESOME! SHIT! UGG!

Then after some amazing acts of fate Ms. G and I hooked up with AAA again and they got me the PREFECT new car! Well it’s used, but it’s still perfect. Also the woman at AAA looked up my credit score (que hyperventilating) and it turns out I have NONE. Yup I have zero credit, nada, nothing. Hmmm. I had a credit car long ago that I cancelled (and still owe a little money on) but apparently none of that made any difference on my credit score. I am starting at ground zero. For some reason all of this makes me feel better than having a shitty credit score. Not sure why. So anyways she was amazing and gave me all these tips for getting my credit score up and building credit over the next 6 months. Anyways because of this Ms. G had to help me with the loan on my car, words can not express how thankful I am for her and how nice she was to me (Im not even being her own child) during this whole situation.

An hour or so later I drove away in my new car! Crazy! It’s a 99 Subaru Outback Legacy. Its pretty pimp, it has all the power stuff, heated seats, heated windshield wipers, 6 cd changer. I’m a big fan! I couldn’t be happier. However I do have a car payment now, which means saving money is going to be THAT much harder. Ugg. However this is the car I would like to have for the next 5-10 years, and its perfect for moving/babies/puppies/everything!!!!

Ok enough of this rant. Now I need to go figure out what to do about my other car, and maybe work on the budget a bit now that I have a car payments…lol! Oh and I do promise there will be more cooking soon too!

Should We Grow Up?

I’ve mentioned before that Mr. Gaunt and I have been attending couples counseling (sort of pre-marital) for about 2 months now. I don’t talk about it much (with anyone, not just my blog readers) but we really enjoy going. We usually go once a week for an hour, and the topics range every week. Sometimes we talk about Mr. Gaunt and I, our future plans (children, marriage, etc) sometimes we talk about our families and how we were raised. We often talk (at least at the beginning of each session) about work, he seems to take an interest in Mr. Gaunt and I’s place of employment. I actually really like our therapist, he’s got tough love. He tells us when we are being kind of irrational, he helps us learn to work through our problems, but he also knows when to pat us on the back. Both Mr. Gaunt and I have been through a lot this past year, with our weight loss, job changes, attempting our own business, etc. He thinks we are smart capable people, he says we have more life knowledge and skills than most college graduates (neither Mr. Gaunt or I have yet to go to College.)

Tonight we talked a bit about “needing to grow up” and how we both need to focus on “selling ourselves” and “finding a career path that we can excel in” because if we want to do the family thing, we not only need to make more money, but we ned to be happy. I wouldn’t say I’m unhappy with my job, in fact its better than a lot of retail jobs I have had. I do struggle a bit with authority, with basic corporate rules and plans. I often have ideas that I really can’t put into action because it’s too hard to jump through the hoops and get others on board when so much already needs to get done. I also work with a wide array of people, ranging from the 18-year-old right of highschool still living with their parents, to the college graduate in transition to their “dream job” and with some older retired professionals just trying to wind down. It’s hard to find your place among so many characters. I wont lie, I may be kind of vain, but I like to excel, be really good at something, shine. Sometimes in a big corporation its hard to stand out.

Mr. Gaunt struggles with the same things, although he is usually more content with the day-to-day. I personally feel that Mr. Gaunt is AMAZINGLY smart and talented, and could do so much more with his skills. He just struggles with finding the next stepping stone.

For me the ultimate goal is to be able to work from home, or at least part-time from home. When we have children, I want to be there for them, I want to go on field trips, make them healthy meals, watch them grow up. I also want to make our family money, doing something I love. My mom worked from home most of my childhood (when she wasnt in school) and I remember always feeling so lucky that she was usually home when we needed her. She owned her own business and was very successful being creative. I want that. I have tried a few smaller scale things with my “artistic talent” I had an Etsy Shop (click on the SOLD ITEMS to view what I made) but didn’t feel like I had really found my niche. I love Food Photography, and would love to do more with it, but I need a better camera, and I need to take a class or too. I also need to put Photoshop on my lap top (where I do most of my blogging, maybe I will do this tonight). Cooking has also become a big passion of mine, and Id love to continue on the Food blogging route.

Which brings me to my next thing. I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog recently, its focus, its appearance, its name. And I really feel like it might be time for an UPGRADE! I want my blog to have more of a customized theme, more gadgets, possible ad space for sale (classy not tacky or obnoxious) and maybe a name that says more “Healthy Lifestyle” and less “Weight Loss”. I’ve been doing a bit of research, and some money will need to be invested, but I think its worth it!  I plan on fully researching it all before I make any changes, and of course all my archives will be there to see as well. Id like it to be more user-friendly and more professional. Mr. Gaunt and I have also talked about taking a creative writing class so I can work on my writing skills. A photography class is also MUCH needed when I upgrade my camera (all photography classes require you at least have a camera that can change lenses). So that’s what I’ve been thinking about. Id love any advice from anyone who has done a blog upgrade, or a life upgrade!

Until then we will keep putting along with dreams swirling in our heads.

Oh and because this IS a foodie blog, I actually made something from my list! My first salad dressing!

I followed the following recipe, only I didn’t have WHITE balsamic vinegar, only brown, which is why mine isnt as vibrant green. This was put on a salad paired with Mr. Gaunt’s Chili (plus a bag of frozen broccoli florets thrown in per my request)

Avocado & Cilantro Dressing

From The Guilty Kitchen

1 large ripe avocado
3/4 bunch cilantro (about 1 cup loosely packed)
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
1-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

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1. Scoop out flesh of avocado and place in blender or food processor.

2. Add cilantro, citrus juices, garlic, vinegars and olive oil.
3. Blend on high until emulsified. You may want to add more olive oil and vinegar/citrus juices to thin out. This dressing is quite thick, but if you add too much liquid, it does take away from the delicate flavour of the avocado.