Sunday, January 13, 2013

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

Weekends with my husband are my favorite thing in the entire world. I LOVE being able to spend so much quality, uninterrupted time with him. Weekends lately have become the time when we reconnect after weekdays apart.

Like I've mentioned, our wedding was October 20th 2012. Shortly after we returned from our honeymoon, Andrew's job started sending him to Watertown (which is about 5 hours away from home) pretty much every week. He comes home Thursday nights & while we've always cherished our time together, it's MUCH more important to us now.

Being home alone Monday-Thursday has been absolutely awful. I miss my husband so, so much & there's nothing worse than coming home to a lonely dark house, eating dinner by myself and sleeping alone. I just miss him so unbearably much some nights. When he comes home it's hard for us to get back into a routine. He literally lives out of his suitcase the majority of the time and I feel terrible for him. I know he wants to settle in, take his clothes out of the luggage and spend the night in his own bed. I keep reminding myself that as upset as I am, he's the one who is not only upset, but completely uprooted from his home, his family and everything he's familiar with on a weekly basis.

It's been a long couple of months for us. I've been so bitter because I'd dreamed of our first year of marriage and it was nothing at all like this. Andrew and I have always been (almost annoyingly) in that honeymoon stage of our relationship. We're super affectionate & we're open with how much we love each other. I guess I just saw our first year of marriage being filled with passion and romance and together time. Not so far. We're apart so much more than I could have ever expected.   It's taken 3 months, but I've learned some serious lessons about marriage through this whole situation.

1) We are in this together. It's us against the world and everyone and everything that pushes back is just minor in comparison with what we have established as couple. This is just a bump in the road. A bad situation does not mean life has to be bad or a relationship has to struggle. Our goal is to come out of this stronger, more established as a couple.

2) When times get tough, it's time to get tougher... But not on each other. Since Andrew is gone the majority of the week, most of the household responsibilities fall on me. When he comes home, he's so whipped from a long work week and just wants to relax. Since he's always got a 4 day weekend and I'm always working Friday, I just expect that on Fridays he'll do dishes or some laundry or at least SOMETHING while I'm at work. It's overwhelming for me too when he's gone. So, when I come home Friday evenings to the house looking just as I left it, I'm annoyed and angry at him. What I'm learning is that my husband, who normally has no problem helping around the house, needs time to unwind, to get back into the swing of being home. Don't expect much from him on Fridays. Let him relax.

3) Don't get too used to him being gone. -- As much as I want my husband home, I'm totally guilty of getting too used to being home alone. I come home at night, cook dinner for one, eat it in front of the television while on Pinterest. Go to bed whenever I want. Hog all the covers. Watch whatever I want on TV... When Andrew comes home and unintentionally interupts my little routine I'm almost irritated. I have this mentality that "This is what I always do." and I need to get off it. The way I do things when he's gone is not the routine I want to stick to. I love being able to cook for the two of us, eat it at the dinner table, keep the laptop off and cuddle on the couch to a movie, snuggle close in bed, watch some of his crazy shows on The History Channel. It's just a change.

4) I'm more capable of doing things on my own than I ever expected. -- Taking out the garbage? Yep. Scooping the crap out of the litterbox? No problem. The cable stops working? I'm calling the cable company. I'm able to run this household on my own. Cook, clean, fix things, maintain it. Who knew? Even though I love having my husband's help, it's SO nice to know that I can do things on my own as well.

He's home this coming week (thank goodness!) but he leaves again the week after. More lessons will be learned, I'm sure. But for now, I'm going to enjoy our week together. :)

Breakfast at the Breen's

This morning hubby asked me that we take a day off from smoothies. He missed solid breakfasts that require chewing. Hahhaa. Luckily I have a new, healthy recipe in my arsenal thanks to Pinterest! It's SO easy and super delicious!

Southwestern Breakfast Burrito:
(Serves 2)

2 whole wheat wraps
4 egg whites
3 tablespoons of salsa
1 cup of black beans
1/4 cup of shredded cheddar
Vegetable cooking spray
Pepper to taste

Spray your pan, scramble your egg whites. Then put the eggs, salsa, beans & cheese on the tortilla. Throw that baby in the microwave for 30 seconds so that the cheese melts and eat! It was a hit with my husband and it's pretty low-cal at 359 calories. It's super filling and SO good for a change.

Tomorrow is Monday so it'll be another smoothie day. But it was really nice to sit down to actual breakfast food! Since our breakfast was REALLY late I'm thinking we'll probably skip lunch and just have an early dinner.  I'm thinking vegetable spaghetti with sausage. It's quick, easy and I have all the ingredients! Stay tuned for the recipe.

Also, I weighed in this morning and I've officially hit the 5lb lost mark! I'm really excited. This is definitely just a start but it's the start of the rest of my life... A healthier, more active, energetic life. :) Andrew and I have made the decision to "reward" ourselves when we hit the 20lb mark. We're thinking either a mini-vacation (maybe just a weekend trip) or individual gifts. It's nice to have something to look forward to in addition to the success of the weight loss itself.

We've also been pricing out treadmills. The weather has been so great the past 2 days, but it is January in Buffalo and I have no doubt that another winter blast is right around the corner. Taking walks in a foot or 2 of snow doesn't exactly appeal to me. Being able to workout in the comfort of my home would be fantastic. Hopefully we'll be able to find something in our price point. :)

That's all for now!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Green Smoothies & Sothwestern Tacos!

I've been eating healthy for about 2 weeks now. I've done SO many diets over the years and this time I'm not dieting, I'm changing my lifestyle. I'm done using my body as a garbage disposal for food with no nutritional value. I'm sick of putting tons of chemicals, byproducts and substitutes into my stomach & expecting my digestive system to know what to do with it. It's time for a change.

I've got a couple tools on my side, most notably, MyFitnessPal. I'm counting calories (& watching fat, sodium, etc.) using this smart phone app and it's super convenient tracking tools. I'm getting a realistic picture of every morsel of food I put in my mouth. I had no idea how many calories I was consuming daily. Now that I'm able to track my meals I can really understand WHY I'm overweight. 

The time has arrived for some serious changes in the Breen household. I'm making it happen. I want to feel more energized, more healthy, more comfortable in my own skin. I'm glad that my husband has signed on for the challenge as well. He's my partner in all that I do and his participation may well be what makes or breaks my success with this lifestyle change. So far he's had a hard time adjusting but it's always tough when you start out. 

My day starts with a green smoothie. I learned all about these thanks to Pinterest, a friend and quite a bit of google searching. Basically, it's (sometimes) fruit and green vegetables. I know it SOUNDS gross.... The idea of mixing spinach and fruit and then drinking it nearly made me gag. But I was determined not to knock it before I'd tried it and I'm glad I did! After my own "taste test" I've come to the realization that green smoothies are nutritious, yes... 

But they're also easy AND delicious. I'm someone who normally skips breakfast all together because I don't have the time to sit down to a meal or cook and I don't want to start my day worrying what I should prepare. There's so little effort required in green smoothies. They're easy to prepare, can be consumed on the go and do not require stopping at a drive thru window! I plan my smoothies out ahead of time with a recipe list on the fridge. Then I just wake up, throw it in my Ninja blender, pour it in my Smoothie cup and head out the door to work. I have an hour long commute to work, so it's nice to use that time productively! Woo!
Today's breakfast was the Berry Breakfast Smoothie:

3 handfuls of spinach
1/ 4 cup of halved strawberries
1/4 cup of blueberries
3 tablespoons of light plain yogurt
1 teaspoon of honey
1/2 cup of almond milk
4-5 ice cubes/1cup of ice

Mix it all together in a blender (I've got a Ninja and I LOVE it!) and enjoy! It's pretty refreshing and actually surprisingly filling! I love that I can drink it on my commute to work as well. No hassle breakfast? Sign me up!

Getting my hubby on board hasn't been quite so easy though. He took one look at the green liquid I was offering him and chuckled "No thanks." But after I FINALLY got him to try one he was sold. This from a guy who wouldn't eat spinach if I begged before. Success! 

Tonight's dinner was from a recipe I found on Pinterest:

Steak & Pepper Tacos got a nod along with "It's good." from my husband. 2 tacos are about 550 calories according to MyFitnessPal. But because we were both pretty below our calories and pretty hungry we decided to add some brown rice. I mixed some salsa in with the brown rice and added it into the taco with the peppers/steak. It was delicious and even though I added a pinch of cheese to mine, the whole meal was still under 800 calories. Not bad! Especially since we're both completely full. This will most definitely be a repeat on our dinner schedule!

We also managed to get a 1 mile walk in this afternoon. It was almost 60 degrees in Buffalo today (Great January weather! Haha) so we took advantage of it! We were able to take all of our Christmas decorations down too! We're trying to make a point to exercise more and although we were super busy today it felt good to make an effort, at least. We've discussed joining a gym together, but I'm thinking we're more likely to just buy an elliptical or treadmill and do the exercise in our own home. I also have a few aerobic DVDs that I'll probably use once in awhile. I'm pretty excited to get this ball REALLY rolling. I've lost a little over 4lbs so far and just that progress alone makes me feel like we're starting off on the right foot. 

Until next time! :)

Oh, Hello!

Cliché introduction post in...3....2....1....

My name is René. I'm (very recently!) married to my absolute best friend, Andrew. We live in a suburb of Buffalo New York where we both grew up and have spent our entire lives. I've been wanting to start a blog to chronicle and share our life together -- From home decor, recipes, throwing holiday parties, having in-laws over, rasing our fur-baby, trying to conceive a human one & our (struggle) to diet/get fit together.

If you know us and have been there from the beginning, you can skip the next paragraph. Otherwise, here's the (short) version of our story!

We met in 2005 thanks to a mutual friend. We were best friends for a few years and FINALLY started to date in 2008 after much "I like you.. but I don't want to ruin the friendship!" crap from both of us. One day, we just decided we were going to give it a shot. Fast forward 2 1/2 years, October 16th 2010, Andrew proposed to me at a family party. It was beautiful & just a perfect moment for us. I said yes and we began wedding planning! 2 years after that, we married on October 20th 2012. Our wedding day was the most amazing day of our entire life! Having the opportunity to vow my life to the man of my dreams in front of all the people I love meant more to me than I can even begin to describe. The look on my husband's face as I walked down the aisle will stay with me until the day I die. I love that man, I love that man, I love that man!

Now that the wedding is over and life is settling down, (thank goodness!) We're excited to focus our energy elsewhere. We moved into our apartment in April. It's a duplex on the corner of a cul-de -sac and we have had so much fun decorating, buying household items and just generally turning this beautiful place into our home. :) I'm a huge fan of DIY projects and Pinterest which has inspired quite a few little projects around the house. You can follow me on Pinterest at -->

We brought our kitty Teddy into our home in May of last year and he's brought us SO, SO much joy. We're kind of unhealthy-obsessed with him. He's literally like a child to us. We dress him for special occasions.
He walks on a leash & we take him on walks. My husband has built him a cat tower so that he can see out of the windows in our living room. Teddy had his own stocking for Christmas. I made him a Birthday cake on his Birthday... Which we also celebrate. We have a few pictures of him around the house. Yeah. We're weird. But he's a lovable little guy and we're lucky to have him as part of our family.

Speaking of our family, we're hoping to expand it soon! We're both SUPER excited to be parents to a child without whiskers (hopefully... Ha) and because of some health problems I have, we're staring sooner rather than later. I just know my husband would make an amazing father and I want SO much to be able to give my little one a beautiful life. Both of our families are incredible and our child will be so lucky to have amazing grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins! We hope God will bless us with children and we're excited for the day it happens!

Which, brings me to our next mission -- Getting HEALTHY. We're both overweight and ready for a change. And what better time to get in shape? Since we're hoping to expand our family, we're looking to get into baby-ready shape. I, in particular, want to get in shape so that I can have a healthy pregnancy and have a healthy baby. But we're hoping the healthy habits we pick up throughout the process will help is to be better parents and raise our children to be healthy adults. Since the struggle with food has been, literally, a pain in the ass for both of us, we want our children to NEVER have to struggle with what is on their plate. We want to lead by example and we're starting now.

SO, stay tuned for all the wonderful, changes in store and in the meantime, get an insight into our life together. We're fun, we're interesting... I think? Haha. :)