So after long talks with everyone we know, and even longer talks with each other, Mr. Gaunt and I have officially decided to move to Washington in April. Nine months away. This has been a very long drawn out decision, and I am so happy that we are both finally on the same page and both very much committed to this decision. While it was definitely a hard one for Mr. Gaunt (who is from Colorado) he is standing by his word and promises to look forward to this change/adventure with an open mind.

It is undecided where in Washington we will be moving (hopefully Olympia or Bellingham) it all depends on jobs. Speaking of jobs, we will both probably transfer within our company, just to get started and then decided from there about school and other such interests.

The reason we are waiting till April is financial. In the next 9 months we will get two bonuses at work (probably around $1100 in total) and our tax returns. This money will be needed to rent moving vans and either rent a new place or put our stuff in storage until we can find a new place. We have a few options of people we could crash with during the buffer time of moving and finding housing if need be. We are also planning a cruise in November/December for Mr. Gaunt’s 30th Birthday, so we can’t be moving during the same time.

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”

I know this move will be hard on some people, and for those that need a better explanation for why we are moving, I give you this: We just want to live life to its fullest potential. We want to experience new things and take adventure while we are still young. Yes I have ulterior motives being that all of my family is in Washington, but together this will be a great life change. I want Mr. Gaunt to see another part of the country and to get a chance to really see how I was raised and the kind of person I really am in my own environment. I’m also just not ready to settle down and say “this is my life, in Colorado, forever.” I personally love moving, I love change, I love the excitement of something new. I have given Mr. Gaunt every opportunity to back down, to let me go first, to date long-distance, but he wants to come to. He is a grown man, and like our therapist always says “He is too big for you to drag him there. If he didn’t want to go, he wouldn’t go” And so we will go together.

Of course there are lots of things and people we will miss. This decision is not easy, and does not come without loss. sometimes in order to grow you have to leave things behind. We will of course visit lots and encourage all to visit us. And like I told Mr. Gaunt, this is just a stepping stone, if it doesn’t work out we aren’t stuck. We could always move back.

We are going to Washington in 2 weeks for a week long vacation. It will be a very exciting trip as I will be taking Mr. Gaunt to the island I vacationed as a child. To really experience washington beaches and woods. We will also spend a good day in Olympia to feel it out and see if its a place we might like to be. Lastly Mr. Gaunt will get a change to meet my extended family for the first time and see what family means to me.

When we get back the planning will begin. We will need to beef up our savings account and slim down on belongings. For the next nine months its my goal to really clean out what we don’t need and to not purchase anything new. I want to save birthdays and christmas for our cruise and other such adventures and less on buying things. The less we have to move the better. We will also need to start looking into jobs and housing when the time is nearer. It will be a fun 9 months, one that I am going to try to make the most of.

So please stand behind us, if nothing else simply because you care about us. Please do not make this any harder than it already is. We love each other very much and plan to make a life together, this is just a stop along the way.

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.

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!

Summer Slim Down

So Mr. Gaunt and I will be going to Washington July 2nd -11th to spend some quality time in the great Pacific Northwest! It’s actually going to be a very exciting time because we will be spending the 4th weekend on Harstine Island! Growing up my family (grandparents) owned a cabin on a small private island Point. We would go every summer for at least a week to the cabin and do all the fun beach-y things: Dig Clams, Chase Geo “Gooey” Ducks, Swim in the ocean, Ride the ferry, Feed Deer. Well they sold their cabin in 2004 (sad day) and I havent been back since spring break of my senior year in High School (2003)! So my mom is gonna rent a different cabin and Mr. Gaunt and I will be joining my mom and siblings to spend the weekend at Harstine! I have so many good memories there, and I can’t wait for Mr. Gaunt to share in some of these!

Harstine Island Beach

Harstine Island Point

So because it will be July, at the beach, I have really decided to shed another 15-20 pounds before I go. I would love to rock some shorts and a swimsuit and not feel like a beached whale. I haven’t lost any weight in a few months, once I hit my 75lbs lost mark. I am happy to say I have maintained the loss (within 5lbs) for a good while now. I just really want to go down one more size.

So I have to make a game plan for working out and lowering the calorie intake a bit. It’s harder now because I am so passionate about eating regular whole healthy meals, that I hate to really “diet” but if I want to shed those pounds I think I have to. As for working out, I cancelled my gym membership last month (because I never go!) so I will need to either take a class at the Rec center, or workout outside. The pool opens memorial day weekend, but that’s still a month off. Until then Mr. Gaunt and I are gonna come up with a workout routine we can do together. For the food I think I’m going to reduce my carbs and dairy a bit. Go hard on veggies and fruit.  I also need to cut out any garbage snacking (Starbucks muffin anyone?) at least until July. So I have about 2 months to do this so I really need to stay motivated. Any encouraging words would help! Oh and I will start up a weekly weigh in again too. I think Friday (a week from tomorrow) will be my first check in date!

Today in the mail I got a book I ordered entitled Putting Food By, on Canning, Freezing, Dehydrating food! I’m very excited to read this and learn a bit about food preserving, especially to prepare for next winter! Oh and I got a new issue off Body and Soul Magazine that has a “Healthy Weight Loss” Guide in it. Maybe it will inspire me!

Vegan Sourdough Blueberry Cake

With a Lemon Glaze!

My Mom’s Birthday was last friday, this was the main reason I went out to Washington to visit, and I really wanted to make her a unique cake. Neither of us are into gaining 5lbs from a big chocolate cake with frosting. My mom also mentioned that my Aunt Kim had given her a Sourdough Starter that she wanted to use. I hit up Food Gawker (because it really is the only way to look for recipes) and typed in Sourdough Cake and got this recipe for Blueberry Sourdough Cake with Lemon Glaze, perfect.

When I got to Bellingham, my sister informs us that she has extended her 30 day Vegan Challenge and that she is still Vegan, and she would like cake please. (= Of course I wanted everyone to be able to eat the cake I made, but how to make it Vegan? Mom and I did some online research and found out that you can replace eggs with EnerG Vegan Egg Replacement I know you can often do Applesauce, but I worried that in a cake Applesauce wouldn’t do the trick. So we got EnerG at our local organic grocers (its in the vegan baking aisle, so they might not have it at the regular grocery store) along with Vegan Butter and headed home to make our cake.

The only other substitutes we did was doing Organic unbleached flour and Sugars (note that Organic Powdered Sugar doesnt contain an anti clumping agent, so it get a little clumpy), and water in the lemon glaze, not milk. So the recipe is as followed:

Sourdough Blueberry Lemon Cake
(based on this recipe)

1/2 cup (Vegan) butter, room temperature
1 cup Organic sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 eggs (or EnerG Vegan Egg Replacer)
2 1/2 cups Organic unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup blueberries

Lemon glaze:
1 cup Organic powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons water (or milk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch loaf pan or a mini loaf tray. (I did a 9×9 square pan)
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and grated rind until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. In another small bowl, combine the lemon juice, water, and starter. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the lemon mixture, beating until fluffy. Coat blueberries with flour and fold into batter. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 1 hour, or until bread tests done (my mini loaves took about 40 minutes). Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

For the lemon glaze, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and enough water to make a creamy frosting and mix thoroughly.

Remove the bread from the pan and pour on the glaze. (its best to let it cool a bit, otherwise the glaze slides right off)

Right out of the oven, no glaze

Pour on the Glaze

Chilling in the fridge

This cake wasnt very sweet, or sour for that matter. It was more of a yummy blueberry bread, the glaze it what really gave it some flavor. Everyone ate it, so it must have been yummy. I love when people eat Vegan and don’t know it! I made these Vegan Banana muffins last week for work, and the guys (who always give me shit about eating healthy) gobbled them up! It was awesome!  It also goes to show that with just a little extra effort you can accommodate your Vegan friends and family quite easily!

And the best part was being there with friends and family to sing Happy Birthday to the BEST MOM!

Im Spoiled

With the best friends in the world. Seriously! Besdies the fact that I love Washington and my family, the thing I miss the most is having such a close group of girl friends. Friends to have dinner with, talk relationships, get drunk. Oh how I miss these girls so!

Dann, Mal, Kells, and Me

My trip to Washington (last weekend) was mighty splendid. I’ll save you the pain of scrolling through (over 350) pictures and just post special ones over the next few posts. Lots of food and family good times. I had such a great time with my friends, I love them all so dearly. I just really cant explain how sweet they all are and how much they mean to me (but I will try):

Mal- I really love that the older we get the closer we get. I love that we are in such similar places in our lives, and that we came from such similar places. I love that you know everything about my past, and present. Growing up I felt like we always had little teenage rifts, but now as adults in healthy relationships, I love that I have someone to talk to about my life, who understands. I can’t wait until we get to help plan each others weddings, and be moms together! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Kells- Although I am secretly jealous that you look so damn skinny, I’m so proud of you! It’s nice having someone along for the (somewhat painful) ride. I know we are in much different places right now, and that maybe we don’t have the same plans for the future, but you will always be my tattoo twin (one of them) and my inspiration. I hope all things with school, love, job, and family come together for you this summer (an forever). I miss seeing you on a regular basis, I can’t wait for you and mal and me to live in the same city again!

Hil- I always forget how damn pleasing you are! How I wish we lived closer so we could hang out more! I love that you and Coral seem so cute and happy together (you both deserve it). I’m so impressed that you have gotten your shit together and have a REAL job…lol! I always knew you would! Many more dinner partie with you and Coral and Manda need to happen in the future! Love you!

Manda-Panda – I think this weekend was one of the best I have had with you! God you are so much fun! A perfect hostess and a prefect drinking partner! Thank you for letting us take over your kitchen (and thank Chris for letting the ladies take over his house). I’m so glad our friendship has withstood the test of time, too many more ladies night in the future!

Dann- Look a picture with you! I know you hate it, but it really means a lot to have a picture of us. Thank you for being so consistent, always being there, always caring. Thank you for still loving me even though I forget to call you back, and I have promised to move back to you more times than I can count. Thank you for always reminding me of the fun we had as teenagers. I miss you more than you could know!