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Monthly Archive for April, 2010

Sunday Happy list

Every Sunday I’ve decided to reflect on the week and jot down a few things that made me happy. After a bad encounter with a postal worker last week I decided that I could dwell or I could embrace the positive – like the nice man selling Streetwise outside of the Post Office who made me laugh.

Here goes -

1. I rode my bike more than I have since I started riding – Nathan and I even rode in the rain Friday night to the Liar’s Club.
2. Baking – and success! Both my wheat bread and my wheat banana muffins were scrumptious.
3. Yoga! I went to Katie’s first class in Logan Square. I walked there, I relaxed, and I enjoyed it.
4. The man at Division and Clark who said, “Nice Schwinn.”
5. Being lucky in love.
6. My seedlings came up!!

Spring is for the birds

7. Watching Papa and Mama Cardinal feed each other on our front feeder.

Spring is for the birds

food, inc.

Twelve weeks ago I decided to make a change regarding my health, consumption, and understanding of food in general. Of course I wanted to lose weight, look healthier, and feel better but I also wanted to make a change for the future. I want to be healthy for my husband and our future children. The likelihood of a child being overweight or obese is 80% greater if their parents are. My mother was overweight most of her life, and I have been as well.

Through this push for healthy choices, weight loss, and planning for children in the future I began to wonder about where my food was coming from especially that which I didn’t prepare, or that was prepackaged or served at restaurants. I then discovered the Slow Food movement, Cornivores vs. Herbivores, and the overall demise of human connection with soil. Who knows where their food comes from anymore? Luckily I was brought up with a love for food from the earth, traditional family meals, and a pretty strong disdain for foods that are processed so I feel like I have a head start. But the truth is that the majority of food we consume as Americans is owned by 4 or 5 companies, corn-fed, and promoting obesity.

I am currently reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which is so inspiring, informative, and shocking all at the same time. I also just watched Food, Inc. for the first time, and am even more focused on continuing my decision to make the right choices in regards to food production, health and traditions both for myself, family, and our world.

Reading about Polyface, Inc. farm made me cry a bit. I feel so strongly about this – it’s like a deep rooted connection I can’t yet articulate. But I know I can make a difference…little by little.

Here is a list from the Food, Inc website of 10 simple ways we can all change our food system. I don’t yet do all of them, but I’m committed.

1. Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages.
2. Eat at home instead of eating out.
3. Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards.
4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks.
5. Meatless Mondays—Go without meat one day a week.
6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides.
7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer’s market.
8. Make a point to know where your food comes from—READ LABELS.
9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you.
10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections.

My next step is to look into supporting local farmers and agriculture. During the summer months I frequent our farmer’s market three or so times, but I should be doing this more often. The Green City Market in Chicago opens its outdoor market May 12th – I am committing to shopping for my vegetables and fruits in season and here as much as I possibly can this year. They also have a lot of volunteer opportunities, too!

the bridge

I have the blues, and I’m not sure why.

hot cross buns

I’m really in to baking lately. I haven’t done a lot of it because well, we aren’t eating a lot of baked goods right now. But I’m really in to the thought of doing it more.

Sunday I made my first loaf of wheat bread! I found a really simple recipe on All Recipes. It was super easy (though time consuming), and turned out delicious! I might even make a sandwich for lunch tomorrow just so I have a reason to eat it!

Bread making

No sugar – just honey!

this is what my day looks like

Before the wheat flour is added…

this is what my day looks like

folding in the wheat…

this is what my day looks like

after it rose for the second or third time…


Spring has sprung

What a fantastic weekend, no really.
April you have been good to us.

Sunday love

Got in most of the cooler weather veggies this weekend including lettuce, radishes, turnips, and chives. This nifty plant marker idea is from the very talented Maggie at Love for Sale and blog. It worked perfectly, and I had some old saucers on hand to use! So no shopping needed.

Tyler Owen Griffin

Nathan’s second cousin died earlier this month in Afghanistan. He was a Marine. Today my father-in-law is going to Arlington Cemetary for the funeral.

Please keep Tyler Owen Griffin, and his family in your thoughts today. What an admirable young man.

Here are some images from the memorial service held in Hartford, CT last week.


This weekend my husband has been cracking me up.
From dancing to Enrique Iglesias to playing with his bike while we were riding last night to commenting on our new neighbor, “That woman is four feet tall. …. Maybe 3 feet,” with such a matter of fact tone to his voice.

He makes me laugh.

Yellow Square Love

Nathan made me (and us) a surprise while I was away in Tennessee.

Yellow Square Love

I am smitten!
We’ve left each other post-it notes since before we met, and this will be a nice way of preserving some sweet moments.

weight loss update

I have a girl crush on Crystal Renn.

She is just beautiful!

I tried on my first bikini ever yesterday.
It wasn’t so bad for picking up a 75% off clearance Converse Target suit on a whim. My back looks great, and my arms are definitely getting slimmer. I’ve just always been self conscious of my tummy as most girls are. It’s flat, but it’s not perfect from most of my teen years of being very overweight.

So far I’ve lost 18 pounds. I’m proud, and motivated to keep going! I’m still maintaining a realistic, and very healthy outlook as to how I’m losing the weight. I have 12 more pounds to go to meet my original goal of losing 16% of my body weight. Next up is probably working in some toning exercises – yoga, perhaps.

bicycle bicycle

ready set go.

home again

Yesterday I woke up at 3:45 am, drank a dark rich cup of coffee, kissed my mama goodbye, drove an hour in the dark (praying a deer wouldn’t jump out in front of me), and headed to the airport on my way from Tennessee back to Chicago. When I got there, though there was no record of me in the computer system – because my flight wasn’t until the next day – TODAY!

Oh dear.
Has anyone else done this?

I felt so dumb. I shoved out $120 (which just buried the great deal I got on the tickets – $39 one way), and moved my flight up. I was pretty frustrated with myself. But Nathan made a good point.
I’ll try to summarize what he said:

If you think about how many amazing moments and memories you had over the last 5 days, and then spread out that $120 over your life time – It’s less than pennies compared to how rich those moments were.

And, I don’t think I could have related it any better.
It was a wonderful weekend with beautiful weather, loving family, and lots of precious moments.