Leanne Nalani

{September 13, 2014}   Learning Experiences

Once again I’m posting about once a week. It’s been so busy I just haven’t been able to keep up with much, so I apologize. I love reading everyone’s blogs and writing some of my own posts. When life settles down I’ll get back into things.



My desk. The toys have been something new I’m learning for the younger children.

This week was the first full week of school and it was full of learning experiences. I have some truly amazing colleagues, especially the para who works with me in our classroom and another para who works with certain kids around the school. Our principal is of a caliber I’ve never seen before. He is always around the school with a big smile on his face. Yesterday he came in the room as he was passing by just to say hello and chat with one of our little 2nd graders who was calming himself with a breathing ball after having a melt down.


I’m learning how to work with children who have autism and how to support their teachers. This year I have three children with autism and I have already learned a lot. That is a new one for me and the learning curve has been pretty large due to the quick responses required in terms of creating and providing visual schedules and calming strategies and also responding to the regular meltdowns our first grader has daily because the poor little dude has no para support in his regular classroom.

I learned how to figure out a schedule to see 18 groups of kids for social time, reading, writing, and math throughout the day. It’s quite an organizational puzzle!

I am learning how to respond to irrational end-of-the-world melt downs and have discovered that the tears don’t scare me. This is mostly because I know they aren’t true tears, so I can calmly talk to them or work through calming strategies with them. I only have a couple young students who behave like this about tiny little things and I’m figuring out ways to calm them and work with them.

As for the rest of the students, they are amazing! 3rd-5th grade are all so much fun. They are all very happy kids and have been positive, cooperative, and flexible. I’m just learning all the curriculums available because all of it is new. My para loves teaching math and since I’m not a fan of math, we set it up so she teaches it. I focus mostly on reading which is my specialty and have a couple of writing groups and of course my fun little morning social group.


This week was Mike’s birthday and our California friend just moved back to WA! We had a double celebration at The Ram.


This is one of their 100 calories alcoholic drinks. Meh.


I ate soooo much food. I had two drinks including this “purple viper” and I ate everything.


This is probably more a look of fear than anything. Somehow our friend managed to eat this entire plate! I’m just glad it wasn’t me.


As of last Saturday, I had lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks. I’ve been doing a combination of intuitive eating and tracking on MFP. I have been really happy about the results! Everything was going so well until we went out to that dinner on Wednesday. Then it kind of went downhill.

Mike was at a pre-wedding-karaoke-celebration for his sister on Thursday so I ordered a bacon stuffed crust pizza at home while working all night. I was pretty stressed out. The good news is that I could only manage to eat 3 pieces and not the whole pizza.

Friday was the rehearsal dinner and there was a lot of Mexican food and chocolate cake. I also had my first student birthday cupcake earlier in the day. :/

Today I am feeling pretty bloated. I haven’t exercised since Wednesday morning so that doesn’t help! I’ve been feeling too gross in the mornings and somewhat uneasy in the evenings. We have a wedding at noon so I better see if I can find something to wear.

Tomorrow we are celebrating Mike’s birthday with my family by hanging out and watching the Seahawks game. Its a weekend full of celebrations and food. Oh my!


*What do you do when you have 3-4 days in a row of big events and lots of food in your face all the time?

{September 5, 2014}   Weekly Updates

Where did the time go? Too many things have happened and blogging has taken a back seat for a bit. Sorry!

Last Weekend

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were full of good times with people.

On Saturday my best friend and her boyfriend came over for a game night. We had originally invited probably about 9 people and somehow most people ended up dropping out. Whatever, we had tons of fun just the four of us. We played Last Night on Earth and then many rounds of Cards Against Humanity. Mike made caramel corn and we had a bunch of other snacks all night.





Cards Against Humanity

On Sunday our friends from Montana were in town so they came over and we had an afternoon of Magic.


Yup. We’re geeks.

On Labor Day we went to a meet & greet evening at my new principal’s house. It was a beautiful day and there were a ton of people there! We all brought our families so there were many spouses and kids. Several of us newbies tended to hang out near each other but we also branched out to meet other staff members. I was pretty anxious and there were so many people crowded around that I just stuck to a couple glasses of wine and skipped eating any food for dinner. When we got home I made a bowl of oatmeal with dried cherries and PB2. It was so satisfying!



Food and exercise have just existed these last couple weeks. Not a lot of thinking has been involved in any of it. I prepare my breakfast/lunches, I exercise every morning at 6;30am, and I track my intake. I’ve been doing well on calories if you look at MFP. The choices aren’t the healthiest but the overall daily calories are fine. The only thing is that I haven’t bothered to weigh myself. I have no idea how much I weigh. I feel pretty good and my clothes fit, at least! The best part is that I’ve been so preoccupied with work that cravings have been non-existent most of the time. Maybe one of these days I’ll get my act together and see where I’m at. Last time I checked I was aiming to lose 10-15 pounds.


The First Week of School!

School started this week. Yay! It’s been 9 years since I’ve worked with elementary kids, so I’ve been waiting to jump in and get things started! As the resource room teacher, the first three days have been devoted to classroom/curriculum prep and student observations. We won’t be teaching kids until maybe the middle of next week. Until then, I’ve been trying very hard to have strong communication skills with staff so they know what to expect. This year there are 3 students with autism in my pull-out program. I’ve been teaching resource room in secondary since 2005 and have worked with very few students on the spectrum, so this is a valuable learning experience for me.

It’s been a good start to the week. Wednesday was DAY 1 and the first thing I noticed was a bottle of lovely apple-scented hand soap from Bath & Body Works with a card from a fellow new staff member.


One of the first things to go on my teacher board.

This morning the principal called new staff members in to the library and told us how well received we’ve been. It was nice to hear that. Then he so graciously gifted us with Starbucks gift cards!

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The Starbucks just down the road is going to be dangerous!

Today was a somewhat stressful day. Being Day 3 of school, the teachers are starting to note their concerns and bringing them to me. I’ve been doing some problem solving when it comes to student behavior concerns because that is always the first thing that will pop up on anyone’s radar. I’m just hoping to do the right thing and make the best choices on behalf of the kids. Other than that, the classroom is just about ready!

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That letter poster was a pain to put together but it was worth it!


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Gotta have a number line.


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My para’s corner plus some punctuation.


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Hall passes.


*How was your week?

*What would you buy with a Starbucks gift card?

{August 29, 2014}   Adventures in Laminating

Damn Stick Shift

Last week on Friday I finished the longest week ever, full of looooong trainings and newbie work-related obligations. Then Mike came home and said, “You deserve a reward. We’re going to go get frozen yogurt!”

Naturally I imagine he thinks I deserve a reward for working a full week. Silly me. No, instead he said I deserved a reward because he was going to make me learn how to drive the Lotus.

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“Noooo!” I hate driving stick shift and in a car like that… I hate driving any car in general. I tried to convince Mike that I’d end up acidentally damaging the car. This thing is expensive to fix and easy to total. Well, he decided it was time for a stick shift refresher course because apparently it’s “important for me to know how to drive stick”. I grudgingly set up the date and time. Grumble grumble grumble.

Saturday we found an empty parking lot. I was just grateful that he wasn’t going to make me drive it on the road. For those who may not know, Western Washington is a world of hills. Hills with stop lights and stop signs. Then it wasn’t bad at all. As it turns out, stick shift is like riding a bike – It just comes back to you as if it never left. I was pleasantly surprised. Plus this car is much easier to drive than Mike’s old WRX.


Mike set out some cones for some slalom.


Since my new school district has close ties with the Native American community, I was fortunate to receive an invitation to a local powwow. It turns out that they are open to the public in general, but all staff were sent an e-mail with details and a district booth was set up. I met a woman who I will be working with since on of my students is Native American and her mother is a strong advocate.

The weather was beautiful if not a bit on the hot side. We tried fry bread for the first time and Mike also ordered a Navajo taco which was HUGE.


This reminds me of an elephant ear minus the sugar.


This is basically the fry bread with lots of good stuff on top.

We enjoyed the food and watched several of the dances.

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To be honest I know very little about Native American culture and I’m interested in getting to know more as I work with this family and likely other families over time.

Ice Bucket Challenge

Yup, the time finally came on Monday night when my sister did the ALS ice bucket challenge on Facebook and called me and Mike out. We were going to do the ice bucket thing Tuesday night but ended up donating more $ without doing the buckets. We were stuck delivering the car to get serviced and got stuck in traffic that night, anyhow. I think it’s wonderful that this disease has gotten so much awareness, donations, etc. I wonder, though, about if the many other causes out there. I went looking online on Tuesday to see what else there is for future reference. I the world could donate in the same way to every charity, but then we’d all be broke or in extreme debt, right?


Sorry if I’m sounding soap-boxy. It’s not my intention to devalue ALS or the ice bucket challenge in any way. I simply dislike the “chain letter” aspect because of my first experience with chain letters. It was nothing special, but in 5th or 6th grade I received a chain letter but didn’t understand what it was. My mom had to explain it to me. This was pre-Internet. That said, I broke the chain and I’m pretty sure no one noticed. It wasn’t for the sake of being a jerk but the principle of the thing didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t want to force anyone else to spend their time writing a bunch of letters that they then had to give to a bunch of others and so on.

The difference with the ALS ice bucket challenge is that it’s for an excellent cause. I can appreciate that. 🙂 I just didn’t want to call anyone out because it reminded me of that chain letter.



Oh yes, the laminator.

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I learned how to use it! Finally. Now I feel like a real elementary school teacher.


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This will go outside the door.

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Fun wall decal.

School starts next week on Wednesday! This week has been more trainings. I got to spend two days with the staff of my new school and they all seem really nice, supportive, and positive people.

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Found some foam letters in the staff work room. Next I need to learn how to use all those die-cuts.


Time to briefly talk about the food and exercise world. I stopped eating all the crap food last Saturday and got back on track. It feels great! On top of that, I have kept up with the 6:30am workouts and it has been going incredibly well. I’ve even reincorporated strength training after 3 months of nothing! I was hurting last week but it’s much better this week. I strength trained full-body once last week and twice this week. The rest of the time has been Zumba.

I’ve eaten well through planning ahead and pre-packing school breakfasts and lunches. I’ve avoided fancy local donuts for two days of professional development and avoided Jimmy John orders for lunch along with many other  yummy snacks provided.

Guess what time of year it is? It’s time to start making honey almond power bars!


I love my morning oatmeal but I was really missing these.


These are great because no cooking is required. They are excellent for classroom consumption.

I hope everyone is having a great week.

*What are your weekend plans?

*Love driving? Hate driving? Stick shift opinions?

{August 23, 2014}   Excuses Excuses

Sorry I seem to keep dropping off the face of the planet every week. I haven’t been on WP at all and haven’t been eating well, either.

Work started this week. It was all new hire training where every day was a different time and location. There was a huge lack of routine.

That’s excuse #1.


Every day they gave us a whole hour for lunch. I’m used to scarfing down my food in 5-10 minutes because teachers only get 30 minutes to eat. So what to do with 60? Oh! What food do they have around here? I can drive someplace and get something fun.

Excuse #2!


Sitting in a chair listening to someone talk at you is more exhausting than it sounds because it’s so dang boring! On the positive side I learned a lot and I’m cautiously hopeful that this district is a million times better than the last one.

But anyway, boredom was excuse #3. I deserve a reward for sitting on my ass for 8 hours, right?


Two of the days breakfast and lunch was provided. Free food and it was all tasty food, too!

Hello, excuse #4!


I could go on but that seems like enough. You get the point. They are all just that – Excuses. Yeah, it’s stressful to make such a huge transition after working in the same place for 7 years. Everything is new and exciting and stressful and overwhelming at the same time. I could have made better choices this week, though. I did exercise in the morning for 3 days and that is another huge change. Those first couple days left me far hungrier in the mornings than usual.


  • I got to meet a lot of new people. My introvert battery drained pretty fast but I still love meeting all these new colleagues and the higher ups, etc. I have yet to meet an unfriendly person and the district staff has been incredibly helpful even with the overwhelming amount of 150-odd new hires.
  • I weighed myself today which brought me back to reality. It’s been a couple weeks since stepping on the scale.
  • I learned a lot about my new district.
  • My commute one-way all week has been 15 minutes.
  • Morning exercise has gone better than I thought it would. Turns out it’s actually pretty energizing and I don’t feel sluggish at all!
  • I discovered I can live without my FitBit and it’s weird not worrying about getting in those steps, but I’m still trying to move around when I can regardless of all the junk food I’ve been eating.


The Week

This week a lot has been happening! Monday and Thursday were teacher evaluation training. Nothing too exciting.

5D color wheel


Tuesday and Wednesday were new hire general stuff like benefits, district strategic plan, etc. Tuesday night we all went down to the superintendent’s house and personally met all the school board members. He lives right on the river with some beautiful property.

The cool thing about Wednesday was the bus tour.


It was 3 hours of painful bumping around to check out all the schools (my muscles were still so sore from Monday!) but a very cool experience. We had tour guides and stopped off at the library, got library cards, and checked out the local museum where they were showing an exhibit of women’s shoes from the 1900’s. Wow, those were little, narrow shoes! Many of them still looked stylish even in today’s terms.


Sole Obsession was the name of the exhibit.

My favorite part was having lunch at the Muckleshoot Tribal School. I didn’t realize what a strong relationship my district has with them, but it makes sense considering the reservation is right next door and many of their children attend our schools.


They hosted a traditional lunch with salmon, root veggies, and berries. Then they spoiled us with a wide spread of desserts like pies, carrot cake, and mini cupcakes. While we ate we learned about the importance of community, they taught us how to say “shake my hand”, and our main presenter sang a thousand year old song that he described as a time when humans and animals spoke the same language. There is a powwow this weekend that everyone was invited to visit and bring family.

Wednesday night I made new friends. Yay friends! Mike’s old buddy from college contacted him and we hung out with him and his wife nearby with some drinks and pool. They both work at Wizards of the Coast. How cool is that? They like Magic (well duh) and fantasy/sci-fi books.  I have entirely too much in common with his wife. The guys practically had to drag us out of the bar because we didn’t stop gabbing. 🙂

Thursday we had Mike’s mom and her sister over for dinner. She has so many siblings it was the first time I’ve met this one because she’s from Idaho.

Friday was another training. Yay. But hey, the Seahawks kicked butt so that was fun.


Luckily there are no big plans this weekend. I think it would be fun to check out the powwow but mostly it will be nice to have some freedom to relax and enjoy this Saturday and Sunday. Oh, and Monday and Friday! There are just a few more weekdays of summer break left. Time to get back on track, too. No more waiting until Monday.

*What are your weekend plans?

*What do you do with an hour for lunch?

{August 18, 2014}   Rushing

There are so many things to talk about, none of them extremely interesting! Today was my first day back at work. It’s two weeks until school starts and, as a teacher in a new school district, I have lots of trainings. Every day this week consists of all-day trainings. Today was the new teacher evaluation system. Fun! The next two days will be district intro stuff mixed with benefits. Then more teacher evaluation stuff. Then special ed IEP system training. Then 3 days next week for more excitement!


Let’s go backwards in time. The weekend was pretty fun. I think I’m taking a last-ditch effort to get in some social time before I become too tired to get off the couch on the weekends. Saturday we spent a couple hours with my dad and my uncle at a Ford car show.


Lots of Mustangs at this show.

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My dad’s classic truck.

All the food and drinks were free for everyone! Except ice cream. That was $1. Go figure. There was a lot of free kettle corn, polish dogs, hot dogs, chips, and soda. I had a couple diet 7UP’s but the kettle corn got me after a couple bites. Luckily I avoided the polish dogs because they were tempting and we were hosting a BBQ at 12:30!

We went home and met up with our friends who recently adopted the cutest little baby. Yes, the one I held the other weekend and pawned off onto someone else as quickly as possible. It was good to hang out with them and their little 7-week-old. We made burgers and ate chips and leftover kettle corn. Mike and I had a couple drinks and grazed on the chips for 5 hours a long time.

The next day I met up with my best friend, Kat. I’m so happy that she no longer works weekends and graveyard shift as she had since I was in college. Now we get to do normal people stuff together during the daytime! We went to see The Giver.


Before that we ate at Johnny Rocket’s. I’d never been there before but yeah, burgers and french fries. I ordered some sweet potato fries. After lunch Kat wanted a milkshake to sneak into the theater. My defenses were down so I joined and got a Black Forest shake. It was so good!

The movie was great, too. I think they did a very nice job with it. It’s not completely to the book but I figure that has something to do with satisfying audience members who didn’t read it. I was happy with it, regardless. We read it in 6th grade and were asked to re-write the ending, so I am open to some differences in the film.

The rest of the day I did not eat well. Monday morning was not the best time in the world.


Back to the present! Happy Monday, BTW. My gentle FitBit one alarm woke me up in the middle of a dream. Waking up during REM sleep always makes me feel extra tired even after plenty of sleep. Anyone else have that? I rolled groggily out of bed and what did I do for the first time in my life? Put on workout clothes.


Hi, Jackie! Long time no see!

Yep, 6:30 in the morning and I exercised. I’ve never done that before. On top of that, I STRENGTH TRAINED, which is something I haven’t done in probably 3 months. Legs and arms. Afterwards I was all wobbly. Everything was shaking getting into the shower and at training. Just leaning on my arms at the table during the lecture had me shaking.

I was feeling pretty food hung-over all day, but proud of the morning workout. It really wasn’t as problematic as expected! I thought I’d be way too sleepy but it went very smoothly aside from being somewhat all over the place. I was rushing to get started and rushing after it was over. On the way downstairs to begin the workout, I called to set up racquetball but they asked to put me on hold so I panicked and hung up. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Then I exercised and made the call again successfully.

Everything was a whirlwind because it’s been so long since the end of last year. Do I have my coffee? Did I give Loki his Kong treat? Did I remember the tablet? Did I remember my breakfast and lunch?

In all that rushing I briefly noticed my FitBit was not very secure on my left khaki pocket…

Then I got to the training and they had us driving to an unexpected other location at the last minute. I was glad I’d arrived early!

The training was very helpful. As of the last year or two, teachers have to bend over backwards about 50 times every year just to prove they deserve to keep their jobs. Yay!

…Back to the FitBit. You know where this is going. I am conditioned to notice it. And then not notice it. It was gone. I retraced my steps several times and then went back to the original building at lunch and retraced my steps, asking office managers if one had been dropped off. Nothing. It didn’t fall off at home, either.

All the rushing this morning! I knew it wasn’t secure and I didn’t take the 5 seconds to make sure it was on there.



This comes to the part where I say it’s ok. Maybe not living with a FitBit after a year and a half could be good for this technology-freak. I could go get a new one but maybe this will be a learning experience. No more waking up to a gentle vibrating no-noise alarm, though. That sucks a lot. Waking up to any kind of noise is way worse.

The thing about a pedometer is that I noticed today how I felt like nothing I did counted because I couldn’t see it in “steps”. I played an hour of racquetball with my husband today and my brain seems to think that all that exercise means nothing without the evidence. The truth is that my body knows more than anything.

I’ll still be using MFP and even the FitBit app because we have an Aria scale and you can still add body measurements among other things. Who knows? We will see how long I can go without any kind of pedometer. :p


*How was your Monday?

*Would you be bothered if you lost your pedometer?


Classroom Photos

Office Space is one of my favorite movies in existence. The problem is that I’m having a Milton moment.

Milton Stapler


See, last Thursday I popped into my new classroom to do some work and, of all the cool stuff I’ve bought, my favorite metal Swingline stapler went missing!

Swingline 747 Stapler

Have you seen me?

If you haven’t figured out that I’m a little quirky at this point, you don’t read my blog you do now! Being a strong Taurus, I’m very particular about stuff that belongs to me, especially quality stuff that I shelled out $20 for. I went back to my room today to decorate and it’s still nowhere to be found. Sad face. So what if there are 3 other standard ones in the room…

Aside from that, I started putting things on the walls.

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Chalkboard stickers


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Pencil dispenser!


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Birthday board


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Calendar and a behavior expectations poster in the works


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I got one of those fun colorful lamps. Mood lighting. Why not?


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View from the teachers’ stations


There’s definitely not enough stuff on the walls. After looking at those last two photos, it came to me. The real thing that’s missing are those big banners like the ABC’s and number lines for the tops of the walls. Agree? Disagree? What else is missing?


The Book of Mormon

The anticipation all weekend was killing me! There’s nothing like experiencing a big musical for the first time. Before the show we went to a modern-style restaurant called Urbane.


I drank 3 specialty cocktails before the show. At least we walked from the restaurant to the venue.


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We shared poutine. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever get sick of this stuff. I get it at any restaurant that offers it!


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Before the show. We’re not allowed to take pictures during.

For those who may not know, The Book of Mormon is a musical that was created by the makers of South Park. It has won 9 Tony awards including best Musical.

Long story short, the show was hilarious and well worth seeing. This was its last night in Seattle.

Book of Mormon


Hot Zumba?

Today was another 90 degree day. After getting home from school we had reservations for racquetball but the AC is questionable so we cancelled. My dilemma was that I needed to do some kind of exercise and we had an 84 degree room. Mike suggested taking Loki for a walk but outside it’s 90 degrees. I chose 84 degrees for 20 minutes of Zumba. It’s tough to exercise in that kind of heat! Does that count as “hot Zumba”?


*What is my classroom missing? Help me out, I’m new in the elementary scene!

*Are you as in love with poutine as I am?


{August 8, 2014}   Relaxing It Up

This Sunday!

How is your week going? It’s Friday! I’m anticipating Sunday as we’re going to dinner and a show.


Dinner at Urbane in Seattle


Sunday can’t get here soon enough

Weekly Happenings

Here’s something random – My husband found out that The Sims 2 and all 18 expansion packs were free with a special code last week so I got it and started creating houses instead of actually playing the game. Anyone else enjoy The Sims? I have The Sims 3 but no expansions so this was a fun way to binge-watch Being Human (U.K. version) on Netflix and build stuff. So far I’ve created a neighborhood for me and my loved ones. I’ve created my house, my parents’ house, and my sister’s house. Next will be my sister and brother-in-laws’ houses. Then maybe my best friend’s house. :p

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My house, downstairs.

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My house, upstairs. We spend a lot of our time in the media room in the upper right-hand corner.

While I wait I’ve been busy with school as usual. So many things to look into and think about before the school year starts. On Monday my mom went out with me to lunch to talk about school since she used to be a resource room teacher, too. We had a valuable conversation about how to start off the year and collaborating with other teachers, etc. I love being able to talk to my family about the profession we share in common. I also met the superintendent this week and even my dad knows him. This new school district is so personal and everyone seems to know everyone else, which I LOVE. It wasn’t like that in my former school district so I’m hoping to make some great personal connections. I already met one of the new 5th grade teachers at my school and we talked for a couple hours yesterday which was really cool. I’ve met a lot of people so far and every single one has been very friendly.

Oh yeah, so back to Monday. After chatting with my mom at Red Robin and intuitively eating Buffalo Clucks & Fries (yes, it’s sort of possible), I checked out the recently remodeled outlet shopping mall next door. The moment I saw a Loft Outlet I was sold. I bought a whole bunch of clothes including my favorite jeans! One pair of boot cut were only $13 but the skinny jeans were $35 which is still a good deal cheaper than a regular-priced pair of Loft jeans.

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I fell in love with these crazy shorts!

Where was  I going with this? I keep getting distracted. The point is that I hadn’t gone clothes shopping in over a year, probably. I didn’t want to face the music that my size has increased. Well it has, but it’s not so bad. I’m up a size or two. Big deal, right? I used to be a size 18. I think I can deal with size 2. I gotta stop obsessing with being what I was when I was at my smallest. That probably wasn’t even healthy, anyway. I have a problem with trying to compete against myself to be smaller. Smaller. Smaller. It’s all self-competition for no reason other than to win against me.


Health Updates

Last time I posted I said I didn’t want to talk about how I’ve been doing on the health-front. That’s because I had a bad 4-5 days last week. I was ashamed and just didn’t know what to say that I haven’t already said in the past. I’m constantly trying different things. The effort is there and so are the results, but usually I break before making the amount of progress necessary.

Good news – The damage is already almost gone completely and the amount of bad days was only 4-5 which is less than usual.

Bad news – I didn’t log most of the foods I ate because I’d be mortified to share and the fact that it only took one month of “being good” to break me.

What caused it? Probably being too strict. The plan didn’t seem so strict because I could have a treat day once a week but everything else was too much – 1200 calories just doesn’t satisfy me, especially with daily exercise. I also was not sleeping well for a couple weeks in July.


August Goals

For August I created some basic goals and guidelines that are more relaxed. The idea is to decrease stress and obsessiveness because, starting August 19th, the shit’s gonna hit the fan as school gets into the swing of things.

  • Focus more on intuitive eating by eating what I really want until I’m full without worrying so much about all the little details like macros. No need for a treat day.
  • Continue to track food but don’t track until after eating, just to get an idea of how the day is going.
  • Drink around 80 ounces of water.
  • Exercise 5 days a week – This has mostly been a constant because I don’t have to fight myself to do Zumba or play racquetball with Mike. Both are so much fun!
  • No more weighing in every Saturday or graphing weight on paper. An occasional weigh-in is fine whenever but I’d like to try focusing more on how my clothes fit and taking body measurements every couple weeks.

There are a lot of items on this list but overall it’s pretty simple and not nearly as much thinking or planning as before. This week has been really good because of it, too! I feel like I can go out and get food and also eat whatever sounds good at home and still make progress.

Last night we came home from racquetball around 6pm to watch the Seahawks vs. Denver and Mike decided he was going to try a new recipe for caramel corn. He’s tried to make it from scratch twice before and it never turned out right. This recipe was amazing and also terribly unhealthy. Recipe: Caramel Popcorn.


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We almost ate all of this!

At some point Mike said it was making him sick but that he couldn’t stop eating. I was in the same boat so I took the bowl and stored the rest in an airtight container. Yes, sugar is the devil and I am aware of my addiction! Paired with rum & diet soda that was dinner. Mike suggested making this stuff once a year but you know it’s gonna happen again in 2014.

*Have you played The Sims?

*Have you ever made caramel corn?

*Am I being too relaxed? Do you have any suggestions?

*Do you ever compete against yourself?

{August 2, 2014}   A Week of Stuff Happening

Lots of different things happening this week and lots of pictures! I don’t have anything great to report on food because I had a bad week and I don’t really wanna talk about it atm. :/ Let’s talk about life and stuff.


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Still looks like this except that he’s graduated to eating, chewing on bones, and not living in his giant fuzzy bed.


Island Family

My cousin came up from HI and we got to hang out with him Monday afternoon. It was good to get updates on how he’s doing and how the family is doing. We sat outside with some drinks, good conversation, and good food. My dad made sort ribs on the BBQ, my sis brought smoked salmon, and our cousin brought us baked Manapua from the islands.

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Manapua is one of my favorite foods in the whole world.

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Got some to take home

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A lei for my mom

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A lei for me


House Updates!

We’ve been making little changes here and there around the house. The last thing was the new bedroom set.

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After 1


This week we got roller shades, bedroom curtains, and trim paint. I’m especially excited about the trim paint!

Roller Shades

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Without window coverings, these bad boys bring in a lot of afternoon heat.

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Blackout roller shades

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We liked the texture and lighter color of these shades because they go well with the wall color.

Bedroom Curtains

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Before we just had blinds

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Basic curtains

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Believe it or not, they do help block out more light than the blinds did.

House Trim


Before – The 90’s called and they want their sea foam green back.

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After – Basic white to match the rest of the neighborhood.




Teachery Organization!

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Folders and files! Files and folders!

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Each student has a classroom binder with a folder for each subject area they qualify in – Math, Reading, Writing, Miscellaneous.


Leavenworth Drive!

Today we were unintentional storm chasers. We joined the car club for a drive over to Leavenworth. Despite 2 different iPhone app forecasts of clear and warm weather everywhere, we spent the day in rain. I understand that this is Washington State, but usually the forecast can at least get things vaguely correct. We started the day with the top off but as soon as we reached Redmond the rain decided to come down. Off and on all day. Top off. Top on. Top off. In Leavenworth we felt a few drops that soon became a 5-minute monsoon. We parked, panicked as the rain came pouring over us and the car interior, and eventually got the top back on after a mishap with the car key falling to the floor and going missing.

But hey, Leavenworth!

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Mike’s plate

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One of our group members is from Germany and this was his epic meal.

The End!

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Our neighbor has honeybees and he just brought over some fresh honey for us. 🙂

*How was your week?

{July 28, 2014}   First World Problems

*Sorry ahead of time for the rant – TMI it’s every woman’s favorite week!*

It’s just been one of those days where all the little things add up. I just want some chocolate right now. Oh wait, that already happened.

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Fun flavor!

I woke up this morning expecting to relax a bit before running errands. TV in bed with GMA and Kelly & Michael.

First off, we’ve been worried about Loki since yesterday. He’s been constantly eating at his hind leg and wont stop. He won’t eat his food, play, or even move from his bed or kennel. We’ve never seen him with this problem and we didn’t own a cone of shame so the wound kept getting worse.

Then I made the mistake of stepping on the scale “just to check” to find that I was a pound up. Awesome.

At 8:15 someone unexpectedly came knocking on the door, so I had that “oh shit” moment where I jumped out of bed to do a quick-change and see what they wanted. Out the window I saw a city truck leaving because I took more than a minute to get to the door. They came back in an hour to finish the work they’ve been doing on their broken water pipe in front of our house. Turns out they were laying concrete. Naturally I had plans to leave the house on the day they were pouring wet concrete. At least they were extremely nice and I even had a good chat with them before they helped me navigate out of the driveway.

I read that Wal-Mart has good prices on school supplies so I headed out that way. Let me just start by saying I despise going to Wal-Mart, not just on principle but also because it has a tendency to attract patrons who could either be viewed as obnoxious or entertaining depending on your mood. BUT then Waze informed me that there was a Wal-Mart even closer to my house in a city where you’d expect a lot less of all that stuff no one wants to deal with. I spent a good hour there finding all kinds of great supplies and the most obnoxious part of it was me getting in the way of the same employee who appeared to be unintentionally following me through every aisle of the office section and then the school supply section, stocking materials.

All was well and good but at this point I decided I deserved a Frappuccino so I spent about 3 rounds driving around looking for the Starbucks. When I finally found it I had to wait 5 minutes in the drive-through behind one person, wondering if I had time to get a cone of shame and get home in time for the next thing.

Made it to the pet store. Bought purple cone of shame.

Got home. Crappy cardboard grip on a 24-pack of generic diet pop broke in the garage and one of the cans exploded so I took it outside and removed the offending can.

A few minutes later I picked up the whole pack in both arms to bring it inside the house. Guess what happened… Yeah, the other end of the cardboard package ripped open and all the cans went sprawling across the floor. One can ripped wide open and one or two others started spraying soda everywhere.

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It’s a pop-splosion!

A few minutes later a guy we hired came to give us a quote on repainting the house trim. We want white but of course that would take two coats to cover up the sea-foam green and cost twice as much. What other colors go well on a light yellow house? Surely not sea-foam green. :p

Off to Loki’s vet appointment. It turns out he had a hot spot which is pretty common among dogs. They get some kind of moisture building up that causes irritation and they try to alleviate it. The vet shaved and cleaned him up a bit before sending him home with a better cone of shame and 3 medications.

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Poor little guy. All he wants to do is chew on his butt.

I’m tired and I want junk food.

It’s been a great weekend! We’ve been pretty busy in the best way possible.


On Saturday we joined a car meetup group on a drive up to Mt. Baker. What a beautiful day for a fun drive! The roads were full of twists and turns so there was a good mix of relaxed cruising and on-edge roller coaster around the tight 15-mph corners.

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The mountain switchbacks freaked me out a little, but the final destination was worth grabbing the arm rests in slight terror.

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The car group. Ours is the little red Lotus in the middle.

Before getting to the mountain we stopped for lunch in the middle of nowhere. The restaurant there had a signature dish that Mike and I shared that was bread topped with a blend of cheese. Unfortunately they did not specify what cheeses were used. There was melted cheddar and mozzarella cheese on top but underneath was a thick layer of Gorgonzola. I attempted to eat one piece but barely made it because I hate pungent cheeses. Not worth taking a photo.

After a long day of barely eating anything and living off granola bars, I experienced a strong blood sugar crash. It may have been a mix of dehydration and lack of food but it’s been a long time since something this bad. The drive down from the mountain took a lot longer than expected. Eventually the road took us into the city of our alma mater where we went to the popular Boundary Bay Brewery. Mike ordered a personal pizza with a tasty BBQ sauce and chunks of pork. I got yam alechiladas, which are enchiladas with yams, caramelized onions, and other things topped with mole sauce.

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Yam Alechiladas – Yum!

Afterwards we headed to the best doughnut shop in town for dessert, drove the 2-hour trip back home, and made it back around 10pm. Just in time to pass out!


Today we celebrated our niece’s birthday. What’s a 6-year-old’s birthday without visiting every adult’s own personal hell?


Chuck E Cheese

This was the full birthday deal with food and drinks, game tokens, cake, and entertainment. I hate their pizza so I stuck to a couple boneless wings and some chocolate birthday cake. Four of us adults competed against each other at skee-ball which is my favorite game at Chuck E Cheese. It was good to see family and watch the little ones have fun.

Successes & Struggles

Health-wise, my body has decided to hold on to the weight this week even though I am continuing to exercise and eat low-cal. It happens and I’m not torn up about it. I lost 1.7 pounds last week which is extremely good so it may be that my body is evening things out and doesn’t want to lose that much weekly.

Yeah, I “deserve” to lose even half a pound, but since I didn’t I decided to check up on measurements since it’s been almost a month.

Over the past month or so I’ve lost:

  • About 5 pounds
  • -1 inch from waist
  • -1.5 inches from hips
  • -.5 inches from each thigh
  • -.5 inches from each arm

In a month I’m happy with this. The weight’s not coming off as fast as I’d like simply because I’m worried about the next uncontrolled binge that will make me gain so much of it back. I want to be able to stick to a ballpark weight range where there’s a 5-pound buffer for those times I can’t seem to avoid.


  • Staying on top of exercise and food
  • Not being angry at myself and my body for not meeting expectations


  • Feeling deprived
  • Really, really crappy sleep this week for some strange reason
  • Eating the same foods every day gets really boring
  • Not wanting to exercise because I’m so wrapped up in school prep/organization

et cetera