Thursday, January 31, 2013

What my "Paleo" diet has consisted of + Polly Pics!

After my Pancake Meltdown a while back, I was determined to have a good, positive experience with this Paleo shin-digger.

I quickly started googling things like, "Paleo Pancakes." Which typically come up with some random ingredients I never knew existed:
  • Macadamia Nut Oil (SERIOUSLY?!  What is this... like $30 for 4oz?  Nope, no thanks.)
  • Tapioca Flour (actually, I know you can get this from Winco)
  • Ground Pumpkin Seeds (I want to know who had enough time on their hands to think to do this)
  • A splash of water from the fountain of youth (might as well)
Cooking is fun, but not when my cupboard is full of exotic ingredients that you have to special order online because the local grocery store doesn't carry it.

So I found some easy pancakes that are only made with 2 eggs and 1 banana!!  No joke - I was skepticle but they're actually pretty decent!  They need something else and I haven't refined it yet, but I at least got my pancake-fix in.

So with that out of the way, here are some things I've been eating:
  • Paleo Pancakes
  • Paleo Chili
  • Crustless-Quiche
  • Almond Milk Protein Shakes
  • Almond Butter mixed with Honey (MY NEW FAVORITE SNACK!)
  • Salad Salad Salad
  • Turkey Jerky
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Mom's Brisket with Green Beans
  • Paleo meatballs
  • Carne Asada
This week was a little easier than when I first started and I'm finding I just have to plan more in order to make sure I have options.

Also - I'm not 100% crazy Paleo.  Here are the things boyfriend and I don't abide by:
  • Grass Fed Beef - I can't justify spending 2x what I usually spend on meat just because it ate grass and was massaged in a cow-spa.
  • Corn - Tortillas, Chips, Corn, I'm keeping it - I eat eggs with a corn tortilla.  I refuse to give these up.
  • Beans - but really only Black Beans, because bf is a black bean fanatic.  Although when I made my chili I also threw in Kidney Beans.  Shhhh
  • Quinoa - GASP!  It's a grain - I KNOW.  But boyfriend and I love quinoa and have decided to keep this superfood in our diet

Overall, our deciding factor is "If it's gluten free, it's negotiable."  Beans, Corn, Quinoa, etc - it's all gluten free.  So we are doing more of a "modified" Paleo plan.  It works for us and it keep me from whining.

Also, because no blog post is complete without a picture - here's a shot of Ibo trying to give kisses to Polly after we got her home on Tuesday!
And here's a picture of how I found Polly the next morning:
The little stinker.  It took me a good 5-10 minutes to get it off of her, and she puked twice during the entire process.  Poor baby.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why I've spent my weekend crying

I have been a royal hot mess all weekend.

Boyfriend has been amazing as I've spent my entire weekend crying.  And crying.  And pouting.  And crying.

I keep trying to tell myself things could be a lot worse, but let me tell you why I still think it's the end of the world.

My pride and joy
My baby girl
My sweetheart
Polly is in the hospital, and has been since Saturday morning
Polly was a little turd and ate a cord
Yup, a cord
She chewed right through it
Because this was three weeks ago, I thought nothing of it.
Except on Tuesday she started acting sick. 
Wouldn't eat. 
And if she did eat it came right back up.
After taking her to the vet, it was obvious she had something foreign in her tummy that looked like little strings.
Lo and behold, they're wires (we think).
The vet I went to couldn't do the operation she needed since it was so risky. 
So he called a specialist
...who denied Polly and the procedure.  "Too risky"
So he called another specialist
Which is where Polly is right now
She's eating again which is SO OVERWHELMINGLY EXCITING.  But the wire's haven't moved and are staying kaput.
Tomorrow, one specialist will use a scope to see if they can pull the wire out without surgery.  Then right after another specialist is prepared to operate on her in several different locations to pull out these wire pieces that are stuck in my Polly.
My heart is breaking for my little Polly.
So friends, if there's anything I'd hope you'd learn from this is to watch what types of things your pup likes to chew on.  Otherwise you'll be slammed with a bill like mine:
I don't know about you, but I don't have $4K just hanging around. 
Just saying :-(:-(

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


As if I don't reveal enough about myself on my little bloggy, here's some more information so that I can link up with Whitney.

1.  Balloons freak me out - I'm terrified they'll pop and shards of balloon will fly in my eye and make me blind. 

2.  I was once sick for two years straight - practically.  In college I had no immune system.  I was convinced something greater was wrong with me.  Like lupus.  Or something.  Turns out I was just stressed constantly and had the diet of a frat boy (dino nuggets, fast food, potstickers, etc).  I never gained weight so I used that as an excuse to eat whatever, and while it wasn't affecting my weight it sure-as-heck affected my health.

3.  My going-out name is Olivia - yup, I'm that girl who gives a fake name to the creepers trolling for a little lovin.  If you're not a creeper, you get my real name.  But when I get the "I've got a van out back and I'm ready to throw you in it" vibe, you get the "Hi I'm Olivia and I was just leaving" line. 

Story behind this: I got this from my best friend Lina.  We were out minding our own business, dancing with each other when we are approached (keep in mind, we're in a frat house).  After these gentlemen wouldn't leave and insisted on getting our names/information Lina says without missing a beat, "My name is Samantha but my friends call me Sam."  Straight face.  Dead serious.  So I later chose Olivia, and our names stuck.  Every now and then she comes up with a new name, but it's our understanding that we go out as Olivia and Sam.  Not Ashley and Lina. 

4. Same ring, different grandma - When my Grammy passed away my Aunt let me pick out any jewelry of hers that I wanted.  I chose her ring from Greece.  I decided I've always wanted to visit Greece after my Grammy visited and told me stories and shared pictures.  I still want to go.  And if you ask me why I want to visit my answer will be, "I just do."  But the real answer is, "Because my Grammy went and fell in love with it."

It's hard to tell in the picture
Fast forward, and when my Granny passed away my mom did the same thing: Showed me her jewelry and let me pick out anything that fancied my interest. 

Enter: Greek ring. 

Now this one has a different meaning because my Granny was also a Theta, so we share that "Greek" bond with each other.
The significance?  These rings have the same pattern.  And I love them both.

5.  I love fishing.  Lovelovelovelove!  I'm girly so most people think I would complain about fishing, but I'll be the first to throw my hands over the fish  and pull the hook out.  Gutting it is a different story, but I can do that if I have to.  Once my cousin and I went fishing with my dad, brother, and brother's friends.  I'll give you one guess at who caught all of the fish: the little girls.  While the boys were busy being roudy and obnoxious, Sam and I quietly sat in our chairs.  Chatting the entire time.  And every so often reeling in a new bite.  One after the other after the other.  BOOM.  Girls rule boys drool.

6.  I have kidney stones and pass them roughly every 6 months.  Which means I'm due in March for an ER visit.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pinspiration - Paleo Food

I could talk till I'm blue in the face about this Paleo diet boyfriend and I are doing.  This is the first time in my life I've ever "dieted" and what a lifestyle change.
What do you mean I can't eat blue doritos and Annie's Mac and Cheese?
After my epic Pancake Meltdown, I've made it a mission to find food I like and enjoy so I don't feel like I'm depriving myself of what I love: Food.  I'm realizing that I can do this and still be healthy, I just have to get creative.
Enter: Pinterest
Half of the Paleo recipes I've tried (and LOVED) so far have come from Pinterest.  It's my motivation and inspiration to eat yummy things and be creative.
Below are some of the new ideas I've found and plan on trying!
Pumpkin Pucks

Almond Butter Pumpkin Brownies
These are very similar to a recipe that my aunt gave me!

Almond Chicken Bake

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas
Paleo Meatballs
These are all gluten free options too if anyone has Celiac's disease or a gluten allergy. 
If anyone has any recipes they've tried or found, please share! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Letters #6

1. Dear Car - I don't appreciate the check engine light, and I sure hope cousin Steven is right that all I needed was an oil change!  And not a head gasket (which is $2,600 by the way!!).  I think the mechanic saw me coming like a deer in the head lights.

2.  Dear WAHing (Working at Home) - It's harder than it sounds!  HELLO DISTRACTIONS!  Fridge full of food.  Puppies that way to be played with.  Laundry that needs to be done.  Focus Ashley, Focus.  Good thing it was only for two days.  I'm happy to be back in the office today.

3.  Dear Broccoli From Last Night - my stomach STILL hurts and it's the day after.  What gives?!

4.  Dear Leftovers for Lunch Today (Broccoli) - I'm screwed

5.  Dear Pollyanna - You're the worlds cutest dog.

Sorry it's kind of blurry!



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hurts so...good?

So because boyfriend and I are doing the Paleo diet, I've been trying to incorporate new recipes to keep the same ol' same ol' food interesting.

Enter:  Broccoli

I've never been a broc fan.  I love all other veggies: brussel sprouts, salad, carrots, spinach. 

But broccoli has never been my favorite (other than my amazing broccoli salad I make!!).

So I saw this post on Pinterest and decided I'd give broccoli a try (minus the cheese).

Now this recipe is YUMMY!  It agreed with me! 

...until 15 minutes into it and my stomach made a noise.
A grumbly noise.
And another grumbly noise.

And here I am, sitting with a grumbly stomach wondering what went wrong.  Boyfriend tells me too much broccoli can be hard on the stomach.  Good to know now.  My stomach feels like it's turning in a million different directions.

Because of broccoli?!  I'll stick to brussel sprouts :-)

And on that note - since I've been working out with my trainer and doing this darned Paleo diet, I've GAINED two pounds.


What gives?! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I have no mojo

Dear men - turn away now and don't read this post.  It's girly.  And y'all won't like it.
Dear Ladies - Y'all might not like it either, but I know there are some of you out there who can relate so read on if you like!
Dear Dayna - Don't you like that I'm saying "Y'all" like my most favorite little country bumpkin?

I'd like to preface this with a declaration of my love to all of my friends: 
I love you
But right now, I don't have to like some of you.

Let me tell you the story of my sister
She has mojo. 
Tons of it. 
I'm not sure what secret sauce she adds to her relationships, but my sister has game.  Men fall madly in love with her.  My sister has been engaged on more than 1 ocassion.  She's that girl that a boy immediately thinks, "I'm going to spend the rest of my life with her!" 
and BOOP
There's a ring

I think she has been engaged 3-4 times?  Don't quote me on that.

SO these past two weeks I've known 5 people who have gotten engaged.  And not one, but TWO of those five people have gotten RE-engaged.  HOLY MOJO!  Hats off to you ladies - you've managed to reel in multiple men to request your hand in marriage.

And then there's me.  Secretly, yet seriously, contemplating sending them a message and asking for the recipe to their secret sauce. 

Don't get me wrong.  I love boyfriend and he's AMAZING.  And especially lately I could go on for days about the presents I've been getting.  Workout pants, AT Bindings, TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT TICKETS. 
Tells me I'm beautiful.
Thanks me for everything.
Holds my hand when it's slippery and picks up heavy things so I "don't break a nail."
A real catch I tell ya. 
But if I had this secret sauce, I probably also would have had a ring 3.5 years ago.

I'm completely happy with where my life is right now.  I'm not complaining one bit.  I'm just saying I wish I had more mojo like some of my friends out there. 
You know, the kind whose new boyfriend falls madly in love with her, tells his entire family about her, tells his jeweler about her, and 6 months later throws a ring on her finger. 

These are the same girls who get secret admirers who send them chocolates and flowers
All I had was a secret stalker who sent me pencils and Hello Kitty notepads

It's A-Game vs. B-Game
Chocolates and Flowers vs. Pencils and Hello Kitty notepads
Ariel vs. Ursula
Annie's Mac and Cheese vs. Store Brand Mac and Cheese
Mojo vs. No Mojo
I call it, "No Mojo-itis." 
It's not contagious
Not that I know of

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tell me you love me!!

First off, does anyone else have a ton of "blog drafts" but never publish them because you haven't uploaded the pictures yet?  Yes?  No?  Just me?

I used to be so good about uploading pictures.
Then my macbook died. 
And I'm too cheap to buy a new one.
$1000 for a computer when I'm not in school anymore just isn't justifiable.

Anyhow, on to more important things.

Like my boyfriend and his video games.

He's in love with Halo.  I wish I could play it with him but those controllers have a million buttons and joysticks that I find myself spinning in circles pointing at the ground.  Party foul!

So one of the "cool things" about Halo is you can talk to people on the other side.  I don't say anything because I talk to my bloggy people like they're my bffs. 
So he can have Halo bffs.

No big deal.

So he uses this little ear piece, and as he plays I randomly shout

Just so he knows I love him
Because I do

I started to notice he would pause and put his hand to his ear
Then with a delayed response he'd say, "Love you too baby!"

Then it hit me.  He didn't want his Halo-bros to hear him shout his mushy-gushy-comments back!

So I went on a mission
A mission to get him to declare his love to me without turning his earphone on mute

And tonight, my friends, I won
I shouted "I love you bo-fran!" a few dozen times
And then it happened

"Love you too."


P.S. Don't mind my bare empty walls. 
I'm getting on that. 
Next paycheck.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My girls!

For part of my Christmas vacay, I went to my dad's house up at Serene Lakes.  It was amazing the entire time because it didn't stop snowing.  Not even once.


However my favorite part about Christmas at dads is the girl time.  Sorry dad, love you too, but I love me some girl time.

Between my Aunt and my cousins, I get plenty of chatting in.  With pre-teen cousins, this year was all about Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and other "hunky" prepubescent boys.

I adore my little cousins and I'll let them "style" my hair ANY DAY!

This is an older one, but I love it

...And can we talk about how my 12 year old cousin has the same size feet as me (keep your eyes off my cankles)??!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Better late than never

So I finally got a chance to watch The Bachelor: SEAN LOWE! 
Since we don't have cable, I watch my shows via Hulu which air the following day.
When did I become such a Bachelor junkie? 
Theta did this to me.
Anyhow, I fell in love with Sean on Emily's season.
Let me show you. 
Let me just show you.

In fact, when I uploaded this picture google proceeded to ask me to tag each person and to confirm,
"Is this the same person?" based on facial recognition.
And I know I'm not the only person that feels this way. I got numerous texts on the Season Premier saying, "Have you ever seen the Bachelor... because Sean Lowe looks like..."
I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing blogger recaps - I know I sure am
However I wanted to put in my two cents about a certain individual
Lindsay Yenter
This girl went to UNR so I was so excited to see the show and watch a fellow UNR alum!  I was a little embarrassed, for her, based on her one-on-one time.  "Kiss me baby gimme a kiss."  It's one of those times you shake your head and think "There's no way he's picking her." 
LO AND BEHOLD Sean Lowe is forgiving. 
And I'm pretty positive she makes it fairly far in the show! (I'm convinced one of the "I love you"'s came from her voice - you can't miss it)
FACT: You apparently can recover from first impression disasters!

Monday, January 07, 2013

The time I cried in a restaurant

Remember how I mentioned boyfriend and I are doing the Paleo diet?

... it's harder than it sounds.

Keep in mind I'm powered by pasta and bread.  So this is really hard on me to give up all grains, bread, rice, etc.

So here's the story:

Boyfriend and I haven't been to breakfast once since I've lived in Portland.  It's nearly impossible to go to breakfast when your boyfriend works on your weekends, and vice versa.

So we've never been.

For the next week, boyfriend and I have a brief Sunday together (that's if he doesn't sleep the entire Sunday) so we decided to go to breakfast.  I figured it would be okay.

We went to breakfast and I was reminded of how much I don't like eggs and how much I crave pancakes and Belgian Waffles (preferably with whipped cream and fruit topping.... on top of the butter).  After seeing these massive pancakes the size of sedan tires topped with melted butter passing by my table, I pouted.

All I wanted was pancakes.

With butter.

Boyfriend and I kept talking about the new diet. 
He was so excited and talking about how great it will be for us
And all I see is a plate full of eggs (covered in Tobasco sauce to drown the eggy flavor) in front of me
And plates full of pancakes all around me
And I broke down.
Yup.  I cried.  In a restaurant.
I'm such a baby.

As I sat across from my boyfriend crying and looking at my phone to distract me from being so pathetic, boyfriend kept insisting I stop as it looked like he was breaking up with me in the middle of a restaurant.  He was getting death stares.

... and I was giving my omelette the death stare.

I've never been an egg fan, so riddle me this.  What does a non-egg-eater eat for breakfast on this "only meat, veggies, fruits, and nuts" diet?

I can tell you it's not pancakes covered in butter.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Boyfriend Brownie Points

I'm convinced my boyfriend is possibly the world's sweetest boyfriend.

Keep in mind only four short years ago this was the same boy when asked,

"How was your day - what did you do?"

He'd respond with:
Then mutter something about not having to tell me what he did if he didn't want to.

I could go on with how far boyfriend has come as far as opening up, realizing there's more than 1 person in a relationship, and thinking of others.

Big steps, kids, big steps.

Last night was a little reminder of how far he has come.  See, I typically do 95% of the grocery shopping and cooking.  It makes me happy knowing boyfriend is happy.  And he's always so grateful letting me know how much he likes my food (even if it's icky).

But last night I arrived home to a home-cooked DINNER.  Boyfriend cooked up steak, sweet potatoes, and a mushroom/bell-pepper-sauteed piece of heaven.

It absolutely made my day.

...And to top it off he made me my favorite egg-breakfast-taco for me for breakfast also!

Either someone is trying to butter me up, or I just have the world's sweetest man-friend.