Monday, April 18, 2011

I Learned From My Mom

I learned many things from my mom growing up. I learned amongst many things, how to drive a stick shift, how to be a Godly women, how to clean up after myself (I'm still perfecting that one), and how to cook. :)

Here is one of my favorite recipes that she taught me: Tostadas. Super easy and delicious.

The ingredients are:

  • about 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1-2 cans of rotel tomatoes 
  • lemon or lime juice
  • 2 cans beans (black or any kind you like, I used pink beans)
  • spices 
  • garlic
  • tostadas 

First, you blend the beans in the blender. I didn't drain either of the cans and my beans were a little runny. I would say to drain one and not the other so the blender has enough liquid. 

Next, I heated the beans on the oven on medium-low, adding garlic, garlic salt, and nature's seasoning. You can add whichever spices you prefer. 

While the beans are heating, slice the cabbage into thin slices. It should look shredded. Put shredded cabbage in a large bowl and add in can of drained rotel tomatoes. Mix evenly and add a splash of lemon or lime juice. 

Spoon beans and then cabbage mixture on top of a tostada. You can also add in ground meat and cheese if you like! 


xoxo Jessenia 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Horse Poop and Taylor Swift

It's a beautiful day in South Florida today, super sunny and hot! I love it :)

Today I went with my friend Matt to get some soil for my new garden box so I could plant some new veggies. We went to a horse ranch where he used to work and he shoveled a bunch of soil/ horse poo poo into the bed of his truck. So glad I didn't have to do that part!

He helped me fill up my new garden box that my husband, Johnny made for me and then I ventured off to Lowe's for some new seeds. I picked out some vegetables that I really like - onions, spinach, zucchini, peas, and then some sunflower mixed seeds. I also got some little pink flowers for decoration.

When I got home I put on my hat and went out to start gardening. I just downloaded Taylor Swift's new album and I can't stop listening to it. I listened to it while I gardened and felt like a real southern girl. haha.

I sectioned off all my different plots for different seeds and guesstimated on the spacing. I'm not much for following the rules so we'll see what happens when they start sprouting up. ;)

I also planted my sunflower and some more zinnias in addition to the zinnias I planted last weekend in my front planter. They are already sprouting up!

I am completely obsessed with this. :) It's so fun seeing new growth everyday. A beautiful reminder of God's amazing creation.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!

xoxo Jessenia

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The past 3 weeks have been such a roller coaster. I mentioned before about my cat and how sick she was and having to bring her to the vet. For about a week and a half it was back and forth to the vet, spending money, getting new medicine, not knowing what was wrong.

She was on antibiotics and it was such a struggle just to get her to take them and on top if that she wasn't eating and was sneezing blood. I knew she was getting worse but I just kept wishing it wasn't true. Last monday, when I woke up she threw up blood and I knew it was time for her to go. Looking at her as I left my house to go to work I knew it was the last morning I would see her laying on the chair as a walked out.

On the way to work I finalized the idea in my head and knew we would take her to the vet first thing when I got off work. I kept battling with myself on whether or not it was time but I always kept coming back to the sight of her sneezing or throwing up and being so unhappy. Whether or not I could handle it, it was the best thing for her.

I was a zombie through both of my classes and had to try hard not to break down. Having to make it through the morning knowing what was to come was awful.

I called Johnny on the way home and told him to make the appointment with the vet. I kept feeling like I should just wait and see if she improved but I knew that if I didn't do it on that day that I wouldn't be able to and that I would have to watch her get worse day by day.

I cried heaving sobs the whole way home and walked in the door to her laying on Johnny's lap purring. I kept telling myself that just because she was purring, it didn't mean she was healthy or happy. She was frail and skinny and I knew she must have been in so much pain.

I held her the whole way to the vet and she purred as I pet her. It was extremely bittersweet and I was dreading the moment I would have to let her go.

We pulled in and I kissed her goodbye. Johnny walked her in and then we drove away. Just like that and I knew I would never get to hold her or pet her again. I couldn't bear the thought of being in the room when they put her down. I would have been a mess.

I cried the way home and then some more and then some more after that.

Losing a pet is terrible and it made it so much worse knowing that I couldn't save her. She was really sick and I couldn't do anything to help her.

Although, it was painful, I arose from my depression in about 2 days and was at peace, knowing she didn't have to suffer anymore.

I also decided to get a new kitty almost right away because I hate how empty it feels. Our new little boy is a white and gray one year old by the name of Lio. He was the ultimate lap cat and loves to give kisses.

I know that people say, they are just animals, but they become a part of your life. Cat was there for me every time I needed her and I loved her and cared for her as much as I could. The way I see it, I now have a new little guy who will love me and who I rescued from being stuck in a cage.

Sorry for the sob story. I really am happy now and feel so blessed for the life I have been given!

xoxo Jessenia

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring, Soil, and Sprouting

It's spring time and I am loving it! Although in FL, it kind of just feels like summer with a cool breeze here and there. This week was my spring break from work and I am sad to see it coming to an end! It was a nice break from reality and having to wake up at 6 am every morning.

I'm also sad to say I didn't go to the beach or do much of anything very spring-breaky. My poor little cat was really sick and between bringing her to the vet, cleaning my house, and getting caught up on some work, spring break came and went.

I did however, sleep in everyday, spend time with my hubby, relax, start a garden, and start sprouting.

The garden came about because my friend Juli is really into it. I have wanted to get started for a while but it never happened.. until now! Her and my other friend Tiffany were over for our girls bible study so we went to Lowes right after and lo and behold I now have a small container garden!

Yesterday we planted carrots and lettuce and watered my mint in hopes that it would come back to life. Today, I added two more pots with yellow squash and cucumbers. I decided on a container garden because I don't know how long we will live in this house since we are renting. With containers, I can always bring them if we end up moving.

I would post a photo but the garden isn't exactly beautiful yet. I'm thinking about mulching an area, arranging my containers and adding some pretty flowers. Once it looks nice I'll post a picture!

Now about the sprouting. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a way of sprouting beans and other grains and seeds in order to eat them raw. You can also cook them or grow them after. Although I'm not completely raw, I love the idea of growing your own salad toppings right in the kitchen! There are tons of videos online that demonstrate the proper technique. It's quite simple actually.

beans, grains, and seeds

I made my own sprouting jars from ball jars and metal screen from home depot. I now have enough of the screen to make about 500 sprouting jars. haha. (it comes in a huge roll)

The basic process is to fill the bottom of the jar with said bean (I started with mung beans) and soak them in plenty of water for 8-12 hours to remove any dirt or toxins. Then drain, rinse, and drain again. Next, you just turn the jar on its side making sure you remove as much of the water as possible to prevent rotting, and let sit for 3-4 days. Within those days you need to rinse and drain twice a day. Then, presto, you have sprouts!
chickpeas soaking in sprouting jar

Needless to say, I am in love. I need to sprout at all times. ;). I love watching the little seeds grow tails and the satisfaction of growing my own food!

mung beans almost done sprouting after 2 days!

Hope everyone has had a joyous and splendid weekend!

Do you garden? or sprout?

xoxo Jessenia

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Housewife Workout!

No, not the Desperate Housewives or the Real Housewives! I'm talking about the real, real housewives. Those of us with husbands, kids, jobs, pets, and much more. The busy kind. I actually don't have any kids but you get the picture ;).

Have you ever found yourself trying to decide whether to workout or clean the house? If you chose to clean the house you will feel accomplished but you will feel guilty for not getting in a workout. If you chose to workout you will feel great but feel guilty for leaving the house a mess.

Today I came up with a workout that solves this problem. It is simple yet very effective. It's called the Housewife Workout. The idea is to kill two birds with one stone. Clean the house and workout at the same time.

Here are the rules:

  1. Every time you walk, you have to lunge. Essentially you are doing walking lunges but not just in a straight line like at the gym. Instead, you have to do them everywhere you go. 
  2. Every time you leave or enter a room, you have to do 5 squats. You can change the number to more or less based on the difficulty level you are trying to achieve. 
  3. Remember to always keep correct form!
      1. When lunging, the leg that is bent should be at a 90 degree angle and your knee should never touch the ground. 
      2. When squatting, your feet should be shoulder length apart. Squat just like you are sitting in a chair. Your knees should just cover your feet when you are looking down in full squat position. 
  • You will find that you don't want to make multiple trips to each room of your house because of the squats you know will come with it! Because of this try to scope out the area you are picking up and grab everything that needs to go in the room you are walking lunging to next. This is where arms come into play because you will be carrying many things at once. 
  • When you squat, do not set anything down. This will increase the difficulty just as if you were squatting with weights. 
  • Leave your water in the kitchen. That way you will have to workout more to go get a drink of water!
Overall, have fun! I just did this workout for about an hour and I am drenched in sweat! I have no idea how many squats and lunges I did but I know it had to have been well over 100 each. I feel great and my house is clean! Love it! 

I hope you all like this workout. Let me know what you think! 

xoxo Jessenia 

P.S. Don't forget to stretch .. I almost did .. tisk tisk 

Friday, February 25, 2011

How to Get Silky Smooth Hair

Tonight my hubby and I with a bunch of our friends are going to stay on an island! Camp life. I can't say I'm too thrilled about not having a bathroom available though. It should be interesting! I will absolutely be blogging about it when I get home tomorrow afternoon.

For now I wanted to slip in a quick blog about shiny hair. I have wavy/curly hair and I almost always blow it dry and straighten it out sometimes leaving the bottom wavy. No matter what style I go for it always requires heating my hair which can be very damaging.

I've also fallen into the habit of washing my hair everyday and I am trying really hard to break it. These factors combined leave my hair dry and thirsty. Not to mention I live in FL, the land of humidity.

A few months ago I learned a super trick to achieving shiny hair in no time. All you have to do is pour some olive oil in your hand (the better the quality, the better it works but I'm cheap ;)

Next, rub the olive oil into your pony tail. Make sure you don't get any on the top of your hair or scalp because this will lead to a greasy look.

Tie your hair up in a bun and go about your normal activities. I leave mine in for a few hours but it's really up to you.
*Chickpeas in the background hehe :)

When you are ready to wash it out, do your normal shower routine. Do Not try to scrub your hair extra hard to get it out because you want it to have a lasting effect.

Dry hair and style and just wait and see the shining results!

I am going to do this about once a week because it makes my hair look so much healthier and super shiny!

Wish me luck on my camping adventure! :)

What is your favorite "hair recipe"?

xoxo Jessenia

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Food That Loves You Back

Eating healthy is not easy. If anyone has ever told you it is, they lied.

Today I was about to go for a run when realized I was feeling pretty weak and almost shaky. Upon this realization I started to think of the probable causes. It took me all of about a half of a second to discover it was because I hadn't eaten a strong breakfast or lunch.

You see, the problem with eating healthy is that you have to be intentional with your eating and if you become lazy, you will certainly feel the results.

I am a vegetarian and I also do not eat fish or dairy. Some would say this limits my variety but I know better. However, I don't always give myself the variety I need because it takes preparation and time! Hence, what happened today.

So as I sat and thought about my need for intentional eating, I started snacking on some Kashi cereal and saw that on the box it said "Food That Loves You Back". Ah ha! I then decided to go to Publix to stock my refrigerator and cabinets with food that would love me as much I love it!

I know how to eat balanced meals. I know how to prepare them but I don't always do it. We all fall into eating ruts. We all get lazy. I'm the biggest culprit but I am encouraged that with some dedication I will feel as great as possible and eat some amazing food while I'm at it.

Now that I'm home from Publix, I made myself the first Green Monster I have had in ages. Why has it been so long?! The ingredients are a heaping handful of spinach, a handful of strawberries, and a cup of vanilla almond milk. The result: mud water that tastes like heaven. :)

Moral of the story is .. Make sure you are getting the fuel your body needs, eat intentionally, eat with a purpose! It's worth your time. I promise. :)

Do you ever fall into eating ruts?

xoxo Jessenia

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Random Mumbo Jumbo

I'm back! I cannot believe it has been almost 7 months since my last blog! That is unacceptable. I'll have to say, I missed it a ton but I was so busy I hardly seemed to notice.

I feel like I have so much to say but I don't want to put it all into the same post so I will give you the quick update on the past 7 months and then talk about today.

In summary:

  • I finished my degree in Secondary Biology with student teaching for 3 months and now I am teaching part-time time a technology charter school. 
  • My one year anniversary with the husband was in January! woo hooo :) 
  • and ... I have been a vegetarian for a whole year!

I've been really busy but having a great time! I love my life and I am so so blessed.

Now for today. Since I work part-time now, I have most of my afternoons free which gives me plenty of time to get stuff done around the house, relax, and workout.

Today I went running around my neighborhood at about 5:30. I felt pretty good but I'm not quite up to speed with where I've been in the past. I feel like there's always something that gets in the way and I stop running for a while and then have to from scratch. Anyone know what I mean?

My most recent excuse was that I was sick. sniffle sniffle.

I did notice while I was running that I could smell dinners cooking from all the different houses. It was amazing! I found myself taking in huge whiffs of air and trying to figure out what food was cooking. Weird, I know ;).

I definitely think I smelled mashed potatoes and green beans at one house. I looove mashed potatoes and green beans.

I've also started listening to Pandora while I run instead of my iTunes. It's a great way to be introduced to new music. I highly highly suggest listening to the Daft Punk Radio while running. I know you'll love it!

Okay, time to figure out what to make for din din. I'm so glad to be back and have a million things on my mind to share so stay tuned!

What have you all been up to?

xoxo Jessenia