Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You are Beautiful and Capable, Part 1

Due to the weightiness of this topic and my desire to keep my wonderful readers from being bored, this post will be divided up over a couple of days.

You may have noticed a lack of posts from me the past two weeks.  

Simply, I’ve been feeling kind of down.

I know that I’ve kind of been beating a dead horse here, but I am daily surprised at how hard quitting my job has been on me (and not just hard in the way that I can no longer buy $70 peep-toe pumps at DSW just because I feel like being taller than Hubz when we go out… not that I would know anything about that from personal experience or anything).  Even though I know that I had to get out of that situation in order to save my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health, I think I had unreal expectations of what life would be like after quitting. Naively, I thought that I would suddenly become June Cleaver, the model stay-at-home wife who not only loves to cook and clean but stays perfectly thin, healthy and pleasant in the process. 

Imagine my surprise when it was still hard to wake up at 6 am to go to the gym, the dishes still didn’t do themselves, and chips and queso still mysteriously made their way into my mouth.  How strange.

Very quickly in the first week post-quitting, my self-confidence began to wither and negative self-talk and self-doubt began to seep into my heart and mind.  I felt completely drained, mentally and physically.  I didn’t want to do anything.  I was scared to reach out for support from a friend or to blog about what I was struggling with out of fear of rejection or coming off as lazy.  More than anything, I was so ashamed.  Ashamed that I had this opportunity to focus on my health, organize our way too small apartment, become a krazy coupon lady, cross things off of the list and devote time to growing in my relationship with Jesus and I was just wasting away on my couch watching an hour or two every episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, personally funding Tostito’s brand chips and feeling sorry for poor old me.

Yesterday Hubz confronted me and I, of course, broke down.  Now as much as I make fun of lovingly tease Hubz, I must say that he is the most loving and patient man in the world.  I cried in his arms, telling him how ashamed I was and how awful I felt about myself.  In true Hubz fashion, he wiped my tears, kissed my forehead, ran his fingers through my hair and told me I was beautiful and capable of anything and everything.  Did I mention how loving he is?

Stay tuned for Part 2 as well as a super fun vlog!


Sunday, March 27, 2011


Since quitting my job, Hubz and I have had to tighten up the budget a little bit a lot.  We are learning to embrace extreme couponing, Groupon and thrift stores.  Oh the horror of a budget!

A few good things, however, have come from this change:

Knowing where every penny goes,

less eating out,

and of course, this gem:

I officially own this $8.00 ukulele that Hubz found on a thrift store shelf.  My life is awesome.  Bam sucka.

(Just don't tell Hubz how pumped I am... wouldn't want him to get a big head or anything).


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[Belated]Tuesday Tune

This tuesday tune is coming a day late.

Monday was my first day not being at my job and it's been weird trying to get used to it.  It's been nice, but it's been weird.

I have loved the band Anberlin since I first started listening to them in high school.  Imagine my excitement when I started dating Hubz and found out that he also loved Anberlin!  It almost (but not really) made up for his car radio seeming to be magnetically drawn to the local country music station... All George Strait, all the time.  Not awesome.

I love this video.  Ever since quitting my job this song has taken on a whole different meaning for me.  I wasn't expecting it, but after getting over my fear of disappointing people and putting in my two weeks notice, I began to feel really insecure about myself and my decision.  I knew that people who were close to me understood my decision, but I was embarrassed to tell others who didn't know the situation so well.

This song helped me to realize remember that I don't want to spend my life doing things that I'm not passionate about and that don't bring me joy.  I don't want to retire and wish I had done something else with my life.  I'm only 21.  I've got time to figure it out.

I might be broke.

I might be impatient.

I might be insecure.

I might be nervous.

But I'm also smart.

I'm loved.

I'm faithful.

I'm open to new possibilities.

And I'm gonna be ok...  As long as it stops snowing in Minnesota and Hubz keeps making lattes every morning, that is.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Tunes

I'm obsessed with this song right now.  It's the perfect [running, dancing, cleaning, walking, grooving, cooking, sitting, sleeping, baking, shopping] song.

What's your Tuesday Tune?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

a balanced day.

Today was one of those days where you have a balance of Good and Bad.  Ying and Yang.  Sweet and Sour.  Paula and Simon.  Yeah, you get it.

Fire alarm continually going off in the middle of the night... Bad.

Maple Bacon Long John from Yo Yo Donuts... GOOD.

This latte not being maple bacon flavored... Bad.

First trip to Crate and Barrel... Good.

Spending money on non-essentials... Bad.

Being early for church... Good.

Losing an hour of sleep... Bad.

The start of my last week at work... Good.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

what weekends are made for.

This is what weekends are made for:

{mexican breakfast pizzas}

And so is this:

{honey cinnamon whole wheat bagels}

Yesterday, in an attempt to get more things crossed off of The List, I began my adventure of making a different breakfast every day for a week.  I figured that there was no better time to start than the weekend.  I always like to make super fun breakfasts on the weekend.  As I said, that's what weekends are made for.

Weekends are also made for playing The Newlywed Game with the person you just so happen to be newly wedded to,

going out to eat at Jake's Bar and Grill with a friend who just so happens to be named Jake,

and sharing stories over coffee with co-workers who just so happen to be beautiful, wonderful friends.

Weekends are pretty good in my book.

(recipes coming soon)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

out of the ashes.

I don't like giving things up.  I hate feeling deprived.  It's probably for that reason that I love Weight Watchers and the concept of "everything in moderation."

You see, when I'm forced to give something up, it makes me crave it for no other reason than because I can't have it.  It's around this time that I go to the grocery store just to buy chocolate chip cookie dough and down half the package.  Did I mention that I hate feeling deprived?

So a couple of days ago, in the typical "I grew up Lutheran and wore ashes on my forehead to symbolize how bad and dirty I was and then after the Ash Wednesday service was forced to go around the youth group circle and say what I was making myself give up for Lent that year" fashion, I began to contemplate what I needed to rid my life of for the next 40 days.  I also contemplated what Hubz needed to give up (hint: it rhymes with Wall of Booty).  He didn't appreciate my ideas so much.

I've always known that the idea behind giving things up for Lent was to be able to devote more time to growing with the Lord and removing distractions from your relationship with Him.  Sounds good in theory, unless you're me and you don't like being restricted.

Whenever I gave things up for Lent (soda, Facebook, cracking my knuckles--yeah, true story.  I did that.), the idea behind it was being able to brag about what I was restricting in my life and how much holier I was because of it.  You see, this made me feel less restricted because I got to brag about myself and indulge in my own "holier than thou" alter-ego. 

Somehow, I think I was missing the point.

So no, I'm not good at giving things up and feeling restricted.

Maybe someday I'll completely be able to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from my diet,

restrict stalking observing people on Facebook,

cut back the amount of money I spend on outfits I only wear once

and resist the delicious taste of a dark chocolate mocha WITH whip cream.

But today is not that day, and tomorrow probably won't be either... and that's ok.

So I've decided that this year for Lent, instead of giving something up, I will add things to my life by praying, exercising and eating well daily.  Currently, nothing that I could "give up" would allow me to grow closer to the Lord than that.  My relationship with Christ is so much healthier when my relationship with MYSELF (and in turn those around me) is healthier.

So I guess that in a way, coincidentally, I will be giving something up this year.  By adding these healthy habits into my life, I will giving up negative self-talk, self-destructive habits and selfishness.  This year I'm giving up the old self and embracing the new self that God intends for me and all those who believe.  Sounds pretty good to me.

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
-Ephesians 4:22-24


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

(Fat)Tuesday Tunes

Ok, so I know that pretty much everyone and their brother knows this song, but I am absolutely LOVING it right now!  Seriously, what girl doesn't want their man to sing to them, "I could sit for hours finding new ways to be awed each minute."  Well, unless your your man is Hubz.  The last thing I want is him to sing to me, let's be honest.  No, seriously.  It's that bad.

What's your (Fat)Tuesday Tune?


Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm owning it.

So if you couldn't tell from yesterday, I am currently obsessing over Rachel's blog.  She pretty much puts into words everything that I want to say but am too much of a people-pleaser to actually verbalize.

Well, that ends today.

Today I am deciding to lay it out there and OWN IT.  Own my decisions, own my actions, own my thoughts, own my looks, own my words.

So here is what I'm owning today:
  • I have had a really hard time getting back on track with Weight Watchers since we went to Hawaii and have gained a little weight.  I own it.  I'm going to change it.  I'm over it.  You should be too.
  • I love watching weight loss shows even though they're unrealistic.  They're entertaining.  I own it.
  • I may be overweight, but I'm pretty... smoking hot.  I own it.
  • I desperately want people to read my blog because I think they should like it as much as I do.  It's probably selfish.  I own it.
  • I'm not very good at grammar or using the correct verb tense.  I own it.
And you know what else?  I've spent my ENTIRE life trying to please people.  Seriously.  But I'm done with that.  I really don't need to worry about pleasing anyone but myself and God (Hubz gets included in this as well since we are One now... or at least are trying to be).  As long as I am doing that, everything else will fall into place.  Because you know what?  Feeling bad and feeling guilty and feeling sorry has just drug my self-confidence and enjoyment of life way down, and I'm not digging that.  I'm not digging that at all.  Thus, I'm also here to tell you... Sorry I'm Not Sorry:
  •  Sometimes I have a drink.  Every now and then on a Saturday evening I enjoy a good brew (the darker the better) and can still go to church on Sunday morning with a clean conscious.  I don't think it makes me (or anyone else for that matter) a hypocrite or a lousy Christian as long as I do it in a responsible and healthy way.  Pretty much as long as I can control myself and I don't drink more than I should (which is normally only one glass for me... I'm only 5'3.  A fantastic 5'3 at that.  I own it).  Which I can and I don't, respectively.  Sorry I'm Not Sorry.
  • It drives me nuts when really well-known bloggers continually have spelling and typing errors on their posts.  Re-read it.  It doesn't take that long.  Sorry I'm Not Sorry.
  • I got married when I was 21 years old because I was in love and wanted to be with Hubz forever and ever.  Yes, we're young.  Yes, we're broke.  We got married when we did because it was the right time for us.  A good amount of people didn't (and don't) agree with us getting married because of our age and our lack of level of responsibility.  What do I say to them?  Worry about your own life and your own decisions for a while and let us make some mistakes together and grow-up together.  Sorry I'm Not Sorry.
  • I'm choosing to chase my dreams at this time in my life.  If that means that I don't have enough money to buy organic spinach, then I will just have to gnaw on pesticides for a while.  If that means that I get guilt-trips from other people, you'll just get to see more lovely posts like this.  If it means I need to use my credit cards a little too much, we'll pile that on top of the student loans.  But if not taking a risk now means that I never do, I'll always wonder what could have been.  And that's why I turned in my two-weeks notice today.  Sorry I'm Not Sorry.
Tomorrow Keeping Up With Kayla will be light and fun and adventurous again... I just needed to get that off my chest today.  I've got a little baggage... I own it.  And no, I'm Not Sorry.


P.S. Thanks to Rachel Wilkerson for helping me realize that I've been feeling way too guilty for my own good recently.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekend Things

I know that I was supposed to give you a soup recipe on Wednesday.  But guess what?  It's been a crazy week. 

Sorry I'm not sorry.  Don't worry.  You'll be hearing all about how I'm choosing to own my decisions and not feel guilty about them later this week.

Just to catch up a little bit, yesterday Hubz and I decided it was time to get some things crossed off The List!

To start the morning off right I had the most amazing breakfast!  Turns out that we had a practically empty peanut butter jar... oh, hello Oats in a Jar!

In the mix was my usual oat mixture (oats, unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, water and frozen bananas), chia seeds, a few frozen blackberries, coconut, macadamia nuts, granola and a chocolate chip almond cookie from Trader Joe's.  Um yeah, it was even better than it sounds.  The best part was getting peanut butter in every single bite!  So worth it.

We then headed to downtown St. Paul to go to the farmers' market.  There were only about 5 vendors there and most of them were selling meat (good thing we're home-grown-American-meat-eaters!).  We have become much more conscious of the meat that we're eating.  We've been trying to make sure that we know where our meat is coming from, and that it's at least antiobiotic-free, free range, grass-fed, organic... the whole sha-bang.  Plus we want to be sustainable and eco-friendly so we try to buy from local farmers.  Thus, the farmers' market!  It was so interesting talking to the vendors!  It felt really good to be knowledgeable about what they were talking about (mostly in thanks to reading The Omnivore's Dilemma) and feel like we were making the best choices when buying meat!

We brought home chicken breast, eggs and a whole duck!  Ever since Hubz had the duck burger at The Happy Gnome (one of our favorite downtown spots) he has been wanting to make duck.  We did roast our own turkey for Thanksgiving this year, so I'm sure a duck will be manageable!

We will most definitely be returning here often this spring!  Can't wait for warm weather and seasonal produce to arrive!

We then drove down Selby Ave (one of our favorite areas in St. Paul!) to this adorable little coffee shop!

I've been wanting to try Nina's since I first saw it last fall.  The fact that we had a Chinook coupon for a free brewed coffee sealed the deal!  I loved the ambience of this place.  It was really warm and inviting, plus I loved that there was so much natural light streaming in through the windows!

Hubz got the free coffee, which was delicious!  I chose herbal tea instead, which was also really good!

I love when I can get loose leaf tea at places and get to pour it myself!  I really want to get an individual tea pot like this.

I then did a dumb thing and gave Hubz my camera... so of course he took a ridiculous amount of attractive pictures of me!

I suppose it's just cause he thinks I'm cute!

We then headed to REI (and ran into a family friend who works there!) to take a look at the bikes so we have an idea of how much money we need to save to purchase them.  So exciting!

All in all it was a lovely day!  I got to cross three things off of The List in one day--I'll take it!

And yes, it is that cold in Minnesota still.  In fact, it is snowing at this very moment.  Lovely.

Nothing like a snowy day to make you want some soup though!

This soup is a delicious spin-off of the everyday tomato soup and is chock-full of delicious and nutritions veggies!  Perfect for a chilly day, served up with some toasted-herb bread!

Mediterranean Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
(Serves 2)
1 tsp Grapeseed Extract Oil (or olive oil)
1 garlic clove
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup spinach
2 cups Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup Base
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp heavy cream
Sea salt and pepper to taste

On medium heat, add grapeseed extract oil (or olive oil) to sauce pan.  I really like the grapeseed extract oil that I have.  It's from a company called Wild Tree and this particular one is an infused roasted garlic grapeseed oil which has such an amazing flavor.  I also have a basil pesto one which is awesome. 

Let the oil heat for a minute or two.

Add garlic to pan.  Let cook until fragrant (around 2 minutes depending on the pan).

Add mushrooms (and I usually add a little sea salt at this time) and saute about 4-5 minutes, until they begin to get soft.

Gotta add some delicious greens!  Stir in spinach and chopped up tomato.  Cook until spinach begins to wilt.  You can definitely experiment with different veggies for this recipe, but spinach and mushrooms are two of my favorites!

Now pour in the soup base!  I used Pacific Natural's Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup but have also the Trader Joe's brand and liked it.  I'm sure there are others out there too.

Let cook until heated through.

Now add in your cayenne pepper (so crucial for that little bit of added heat!), black pepper, basil and any other seasonings that you would like!

Just before serving, stir in the heavy cream to make it extra creamy and delicious!

Now serve it in your favorite bowl!

This soup is super creamy and is full of chunky veggies which I love!  If you like tomato-basil soup, you will love this one!  Make it now!

Bed time for me!  Did you go on any adventures this weekend?

Blessings on the beginning of your week!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy National Pancake Day!

Today not only is the first day of March, it is also National Pancake Day!  We decided not to visit IHOP (the first place I ever worked--what a horror story!) for the special holiday.  Instead, I made some healthy (but still a little indulgent!) pancakes at home for us!

Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfasts so I was really excited to celebrate today!

I made Jessica's Whole Wheat Cinnamon Bun Pancakes and they were absolutely delicious!  If you've never tried whole wheat pancakes, get off the couch and make these right now!  I actually like whole wheat pancakes better than regular pancakes.  They fill me up more, are more hearty but are still deliciously fluffy.  And they're so much healthier for you!

The indulgent part was the glaze that I put on top.  Instead of using the maple butter icing that Jessica used, I decided instead to go with her Vanilla Cream Glaze.  This glaze was even better than I thought it would be and the best part is that a little bit goes a long way on these cakes.  I only put about a tablespoon on my stack and it was the perfect amount of sweetness. 

The pancakes have a lot of flavor on their own that you can get by with only a little glaze.  That makes this breakfast healthy but also indulgent--my favorite combination!

I served these up with some coffee (in my favorite mug!) for a delicious and filling breakfast!

Best part of the morning?  Getting to wear my new apron that Hubz got for me at Patina!  My boss introduced me to Patina and it is now my favorite place to get fun, pretty and girly gifts.  We went there the other day to get a birthday gift for Hubz's younger sister.  We had a coupon for Patina from our Chinook Book for $20 off a $50 purchase.  Hubz bought me an apron before we got married and I absolutely love it, but it's really seasonal (it has a turkey on the front) and I wanted one that I could wear all the time.  Our kitchen is pretty retro and so when we saw this retro apron we both loved it!

It makes me want to cook even more!  Nothing better than being cute in the kitchen  :)

Now go make yourself those pancakes!  The best thing about breakfast is that you can eat it anytime of the day.  Breakfast for supper is my favorite!

Tomorrow I have a delicious soup recipe for you!  Until then, blessings on your day!