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Friday, August 28, 2015

Preparing For Baby: Getting Healthy Using Nutrisystem

It's Friday! That means it is time for a Baby Making Update. Unfortunately I don't have an update to give.  Not one that includes any talk of IUIs, Donor sperm, or pregnancy tests.  If you read my last Baby Making Update post, It's Time For IUI #5, Isn't It, then you know Cycle number 5 was a bust.  I did not have my IUI. So, there is nothing new on the baby making front.  However, I am still focused on doing what I need to do to conceive my bundle of joy.  I am still preparing for baby.

In lieu of my typical baby making update.  Watch this video on one of the healthy changes I am trying to make to be in better shape for baby.  That's using Nutrisystem to lose weight.  If you have trouble watching the video below click here >> Preparing For Baby: Getting Healthy Using Nutrisystem <<

Did any of you try to lose or gain weight before getting pregnant?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 Things My Dad Taught Me

5 Life Lessons My Dad Taught Me
Six years ago today my dad passed away.  It's amazing how it feels both like so long and and just yesterday at the same time.  My whole world feels different without my dad in it.  I thought about not writing a post today. But that didn't feel right.  I thought about writing a letter to my dad like I have done before.  That didn't feel right either.  I started to make this blog post about how lately people who disagree with my journey to being a Single Mother By Choice have been invoking my dad's memory for their own agendas and in an effort dissuade me from becoming a mother.  As if they knew him as well as I did when he lived with me and talked to me daily.  However, that did feel right either. It seemed like a post for another day and maybe a little too negative for today.

I eventually decided that the best way to remember my dad today was to focus on the great things he taught me. So, here are five lessons my dad taught me.
  1. Unconditional Love.  If you are amongst those of us who are truly blessed, than you know your parents love you. You know that they may get angry with you , disappointed in you, and even just plan old tired of you but no matter what they still love you.  I knew that too.  I never doubted my dad's love for me or my brothers.  It was just obvious to us and anyone who knew him. My dad's love for his children just spilled out of him.  However, it was not until he passed away that I understood exactly how unconditional that love was.  I still feel it everyday even now 6 years after he has gone.  It feels like a hug on the inside, filling me up with comfort, confidence, and security.
  2. Generosity.  You don't have to have a lot to do a lot.  I feel like we were the poor family amongst my extended family of aunts and uncles.  We lived in the inner city.  Our house wasn't in great shape. I had Payless sneakers when it was not cool to have them.  But I had great birthdays, awesome Christmases and never missed a school trip or dance. My dad always made sure we had enough. But not just us.  He made sure other's had enough too.  As an adult on Christmas  we'd have to wait for my dad to get home before we exchanged presents.  He'd get up early and take gifts to my cousin's kids who he knew weren't getting anything.  Not only did my dad make sure me and my brother had what we needed for our proms he paid for at least 3 other kids to go on theirs. One of them became prom king.  There were also several other teens that he made sure had food to eat and a little money in their pocket whenever he saw them.  And he purposely would go to see them. It wasn't just when he ran into them.  My dad tithed and was a living testimony that God will make sure you have enough.  He gave often and to those who needed it even though he didn't have much to give. 
  3. How a man is supposed to make a woman feel.  Dating has not been an easy experience for me. My dad is partially to blame.  He set the bar very high for how I am supposed to be treated.  But not only me. You see my dad loved women and was actually a bit of a flirt.  Not the disrespectful trying to hit on women in front of my daughter even though I'm married kind of flirt.  He simply could not talk to a woman without saying something to make her smile.  I'm sure he made every woman he encountered feel beautiful, safe, and special.  That is the way a man is supposed to make a women feel.  That is how my future Mr. Joy Chaser will make me feel. 
  4. Sometimes you have to distance yourself from family.  I love my family and my dad did too.  Growing up he would tell me how important it was to him that my brothers and I stay close.  He even made and effort to become close with my mom's side of the family that did not have the same closeness as his side of the family.  But one day he started a very serious conversation with me about the direction my life was taking in comparison to others in my family.  He took the time to explain that there could be a day in the future where I might not be able to be close to family members because of the differences in our life choices.  If their life choices imposed on me in a way that negatively impacted me or my future family (husband/ childeren) that it would be good for me to make the choice to create some distance.  This is easier said than done. But it is much easier for me to make myself and future bundle of joy a priority knowing I have his blessing.
  5. How not to be a guilt ridden Christian.  My dad was a Christian, a Seventh Day Adventist actually.  He is the one who took me to church as a little kid.  However, my dad was fun.  He danced and drank and had a good time.  One day my dad was talking about someone making poor decisions because they were trying to resolve their own feelings of guilt.  My dad explained that If you call yourself a Christian than you are saying you believe Jesus died for your sins.  If you believe Jesus died for your sins than there is no need to beat yourself up over them or make poor decisions to try and fix the sins.  Jesus has already fixed and forgiven them. My dad said what we have to do is ask for forgiveness and try to do better.  He went on to say that if we wallow in guilt then we are even being hypocritical.  If we truly believe Jesus forgave our sin then who are we to not forgive ourselves.  Now I admit I still strugle with feelings of guilt (thank you very much Church school),  but remembering what my dad said has helped me to move forward more quickly and learn to forgive myself.
I learned so much more than this from my dad.  But these are the lessons that are the most relevant to me at this time in my life.  

What are some of the most important things you have learned from your parents?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Oh Joy A PIN WIN!!! Cheesecake Factory Salmon Rolls Copy Cat Recipe

Cheesecake Factory Salmon Rolls Recipe
It's been a while since I had ventured to take on something from Pinterest for the Pinterest Project.  That was until I went to the dentist a week or so ago.  They opened a Cheesecake Factory in Center City Philadelphia that is only a couple of blocks away from my  dentist's office.  I decided to order something to take home with me after my appointment.  I wanted something small and not too heavy so I ordered the Firecracker Salmon Spring Rolls. They were so yummy I had to try and make them myself.

I headed to Pinterest and found this >> The Cheesecake Factory: Firecracker Salmon Rolls copycat recipe <<.  I had a tough time with the ingredients but overall my version came out OK.  The recipe calls for egg roll wrappers.  I thought these would be easy to find in the Asian section of the supermarket.  I was wrong. I went to Acme, Shop Rite, and Target and there were no egg roll wrappers in sight.  I did find spring roll wrappers and phyllo dough sheets.  I decided to use the phyllo dough sheets.  The recipe also calls or spinach.  Spinach is not hard to find.  However, I ran into a friend in the supermarket.  After a few minutest of chatting I got in the line to pay instead of heading to the produce section to get my spinach.  I opted not to put off trying the recipe until my next supermarket trip so my Salmon Rolls are sans spinach.

The recipe was surprisingly easy. I cut the salmon into strips seasoned with seasoning salt and lemon pepper.  I then wrapped the strips into one or two sheets of phyllo dough. *TIP* the phyllo dough dries out really quickly so cover with a damp towel and work really fast.  I sprayed the rolls with oil and put on a cookie sheet and baked or 14 minutes.  I turned the cookie sheet half way through.    The rolls came out a nice brown color.

They tasted pretty yummy.  I imagine with the spinach they would have been even better and more moist.  I think I may have found a new appetizer to serve or bring to parties.  I do need to work on finding a dipping sauce that I really like.  I did not try to make the dipping sauce mentioned in the pin.

Overall the Cheesecake Factory Salmon Roll Copy Cat Pin is a Pin Win!!!
Copy Cat Cheesecake Factory Salmon Rolls Recipe

The Pinterest Project is a year long project where I will bring Pins to life.  Make sure you are following the Pinterest Project Board on Pinterest

Have you had the Salmon Rolls at Cheesecake Factory?  Did you love them?  What is the last thing you say on Pinterest that you tried yourself?  Was it a PIN WIN or a PINTEREST FAIL?

Friday, August 21, 2015

It's Time for IUI #5, Isn't It???

Intrauterine Inseminiation (IUI) Fertility Treatment
This month I switched my donor and decided to give the natural non-medicated approach a try.  That means I did not go in for any ultrasound monitoring.  I just used OPKs  (Ovulation Predictor Kits).  I have been ovulating earlier and earlier so I decided to start testing on cycle day 6.  That is only 6 days after the start of my period.  The tests were negative the first couple of days, as I expected.  But on day 8 I was shocked to see a smiley face on the indicator.  The test was positive meaning ovulation was imminent.

It's time for IUI  (Intrauterine Insemination)  #5.  Isn't it???  Check out the video below to find out what happened with my 5th IUI.  If you have trouble seeing the video click here >>IUI #5 <<.


 Have any of you experienced Ovulating this early in the cycle?  I'd love to hear about you experience with early ovulation and shorter cycles in the comments below.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Make it Happen Monday and VEDA - Workout Time

Setting Goals
Happy Monday!

On Monday I tend to think about and therefor write about goals.  It is the beginning of the work week, a fresh start, clean slate, and all that. So, the focus is usually on what I can do to have a good and joyful week.

This week I am setting some blogging goals.  I have not been doing that lately and I need too.  I'm also continuing with my month long VEDA goal.  Veda is Vlog Everyday August.  I have already missed a few days.  The goal is to not give up on the month and keep the Vlogs coming (please give my suggestions).  Lastly I have some health goals like continuing to work on my 10,950 minutes of fitness goal.  I talk a little about where I am with that goal and show you a little of my workout in the VEDA video below.

Do you set goals every week?  When you set them do you keep them to yourself or do you share them?  If you share them I'd love to hear what you are working on this week.

Have a great Make It Happen Monday.  Let's set a goal and make it happen.
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