Jun 142012
If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but dont think you can
Its almost certain you wont.If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellows will
Its all in the state of mind.If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise
You’be got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prizeLife’s battles don’t go away
To the stronger or faster man
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.


Always On My Mind

 Posted by
Jun 122012

For my girl Sasha.  Because every day, no matter where I am, or what I’m doing, she is on my mind.  Even if I’m just in the kitchen baking or cooking, and she is in the next room,  I know she is waiting for me to go in there and be with her.

Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
And maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
If I made you feel second best
Girl I’m sorry I was blind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
And maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I’m so happy that you’re mine
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind
Tell me,
Tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died
Give me, give me
One more chance to keep you satisfied
I’ll keep you satisfied

Love you Sasha, and we are doing everything we can to make it so that you are with us for a very long time.



Lazy Sunday

 Posted by
Jun 032012

Our Sunday started late.  I got up at 9:45 a.m., let the dogs out, fed them and jumped in the shower.  Carlos got up shortly after I did, and while I was in the shower, he got breakfast ready.

Scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, whole wheat thin bread from Trader Joe’s, coffee, and water.

We finished up making our home “tomato cages.”  Unfortunately, we neglected them for a while, and they grew strangely, but they are doing great and we have many tomatoes growing.  This is how they looked before we build the cages.  I did not take a picture when we were done.

Here’s a picture of some of the tomatoes.

I also baked Jamie Eason’s Turkey Muffins.  I usually make them as balls, but I used the muffin tin this time…we call them, “turkey balls” =) they came out great!  I’ll share the recipe -because I made a few changes- late in the week.  But in the meantime, here is a picture:

Ready for the week!

On a concern note, we found a bump on the outer part of Tommy’s lip; we don’t like how it looks.

He is going to the vet first thing Monday morning.  Fingers crossed the bump is nothing to worry about.

Lunch was really good!  I cooked some ground beef (drain the fat), added a can of black beans and a jar of Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde.  When I served it, I sprinkled less than 1 tbsp. of cheese.  I served it with a couple of yellow corn tortillas from Whole Foods, toasted in the toaster over, and we also had a big salad on the side.  Take a look.

Even though I did not use any seasoning, the dish came out a bit salty, but not salty enough to not enjoy…we enjoyed it!  Especially with the homemade salsa made with special peppers from Mexico sent from my mom =)  I promise to share that recipe, one day  =)

We also went to the gym.  It was leg day (my favorite!).  I had not been having a good day, I was stressed and I did not want to workout.  Carlos reminded me that if I did not go, I would later feel guilty and would be further away from achieving my goal.  So, to the gym we went.  And I did push myself, but it was obvious it was not a good day.  However, it is better to have worked out, than to have missed the gym.  I’m always reminded that no matter how tired I am I do prefer to have worked out.

For dinner, I baked some green and we had the left over ground beef, but I added some left over rotisserie chicken I had left from Friday.  We also had a glass of red Zinfandel.  Sorry, no pictures…my hands were busy eating =)

I hope everyone has a wonderful week.  I have a couple of updates to share, and I will do so later this week =)


~ L.

PS.  Posts to do list (reminder for myself, lol!):  post Jamie Eason’s Turkey Muffins recipe, post training for past week.

Jun 022012

A while ago I had mentioned that I would share the essays I wrote in my English class, and I did not continue doing so.  In my defense, my teacher didn’t give them back to us until the day of the final.  I know, it has been over a month since then.  I am guilty of not posting them once I got them back!

Anyway.  Today after the gym, Carlos and I started doing some yard work.  After a while, it was time to eat again, so we took a break.  Carlos prepared our food while I cooked a recipe (more on that later).  While we ate, we watched a documentary on National Parks; they are so beautiful.  Well, this got me thinking of an essay I wrote about Yellowstone.  This essay is from the English class from the 2011 fall semester, and it is written in the third person.  I might have already said this, but in case I did not, I do not like writing in the third person, it takes meaning out of the writing.  Anyhow, here is the essay:

  Summer of 2000

            In the summer of 2000, Carlos and Liliana decided to resign from their jobs, travel across the country and settle in Arizona.  They planned on driving to Arizona from Pennsylvania, and thought that this would be an excellent opportunity to see the country.  During their trip, they drove through twenty-nine states.  The couple visited many popular tourist attractions, along with some that were not as well known.  Of all of the places that Carlos and Liliana saw during their trip, Yellowstone Park stands out more than the rest.  Carlos and Liliana’s impression of the first time they were at Yellowstone National Park, to this day, remains as vivid as if they had been there just a day ago.  While there are many beautiful and interesting places to visit in the United States of America, the many national parks are some of the most captivating, and among them, Yellowstone is the most special. 

            During their trip to Yellowstone, some of the couple’s most unforgettable memories were of the abundant wildlife.   At almost every turn, they saw wild animals, that prior to then, they had only seen in books and on television.  The first animal that Carlos and Liliana came across was a pronghorn in molt.  They spotted the animal while viewing the Grand Teton Mountains from a pull-off on the side of the road.  Liliana wanted to take pictures, so Carlos got the camera ready and began snapping away as the two slowly walked toward the pronghorn.  Soon, others noticed the spectacle and began approaching, taking pictures and video of the animal.  The increasing human attention proved to be too much for the animal, and the pronghorn trotted away from the growing crowd.  The couple was fortunate enough to see several other animals during their time at the park, including elk, deer, eagles, a moose cow with her young calf, as well as a buffalo, which walked right behind their car as they videotaped him.  Carlos and Liliana were happy to see so many animals in beautiful Yellowstone; however, there was one animal that they had hoped to see but did not, they never came across a bear.

In addition to seeing wildlife, the couple wanted to make sure to see Yellowstone’s Old Faithfull, and the many hot springs scattered all over the park.  Yellowstone contains the majority of the world’s geysers, and Old Faithful is the biggest regularly erupting geyser in the world, spewing hot water every 35 to 120 minutes to a height that ranges between 90 to 184 feet.  Liliana was afraid to walk on the walkway over the hot springs.  She was amazed to learn that the entire park rested on top of a super volcano.  This is, in fact, part of what makes Yellowstone such a distinctive and unique place.   

Another memory of their trip to Yellowstone was the night sky.  Yellowstone at night was a startling and breathtaking experience.  The couple descended a windy, mountain road at the twilight hour.  The day was wonderful, filled with adventure and new sights, but the day was long too, and the bumpy ride soon lulled Liliana to sleep as Carlos navigated to their cabin.  She was awakened by his gentle hand and a soft whisper, “Baby”.  There was something that he wanted her to see; he could not stand for Liliana, his love, to miss the sight.  He put his hand on her thigh, smiled at her and said, “Wait.”  Curious about what her husband had in store, she gazed out into the darkness through the glass, barely able to distinguish the outline of trees in front of their car.  Soon her door was open, and she reached for his extended hand.  “Close your eyes,” he told her with a smile.  Carlos helped Liliana out of the car, and positioned her facing him.  “Open your eyes, and look up,” he told her.  When she did, Liliana could hardly believe the sight.  The night sky was like no other night sky that she had ever seen before.  The sky was so dark that it was black, but was also filled with more stars than she ever thought could possibly exist in a single view.  She was amazed at how so much light and so much darkness could exist simultaneously.  The couple admired the mountain’s night sky for a while longer, and then continued on their way to the cabin.  Seeing Yellowstone’s shimmering sky was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

            Carlos and Liliana often reminisce about the summer when they traveled across the country in their two-door Honda Civic.  They remember visiting Liliana’s brother in Atlanta, and having to pull over on the highway after discovering that their car had been invaded by a colony of ants the night before.  All-you-can-eat pancakes in South Dakota and driving across the Badlands are memories fond to both Carlos and Liliana.  Fear of being swept away by a tornado in Nebraska had now become a favorite story of the couple’s to tell.  Giant redwood and Sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park, and, of course, their favorite place of all, Yellowstone, are frequently the topics of conversation in the couple’s home.  They talk about taking another trip, and plan like happy children, what they would do this time if they could take the trip all over again.  They talk about who they would visit along the way, which routes they would take, and if they might ever see another sky like they saw on that August night in Yellowstone.  The young couple created memories during their first time in Yellowstone that will live with them forever.

I was planning on adding pictures, but I decided to wait so that I can scan pictures of our trip, so stay tuned for those photos.  I hope to add them in the next week or so.

So, have you ever been to Yellowstone or other National Parks?  What park (s) is your favorite?

~ Liliana

Jun 012012

Tonight, while watching TV, I realized that writing about whether or not canceling your TV cable or satellite service could benefit some people out there, or at least provoke some thought on the topic, so…

In January 2010, there were many deals on electronics.  Carlos and I took a trip to Comp USA to check out the TVs.  Carlos had been doing research on TVs for a little while in case we decided to buy a new one.  Although our TV was still in good condition, it was 10 years old, not HD, and it was big and bulky.  In addition to considering a new TV, we had been considering canceling our satellite subscription in order to save money.  Each year I managed to get a good deal from our provider, which meant we ended up paying less than people who didn’t make the call looking for savings, but we still wanted to save more money.

After finding a TV we liked, with the specifications we were looking for, we decided to shop around.  This would give us time to find a better deal and to decide if we would cancel our satellite subscription.  If we purchased the TV, we would have to pay for it from our savings account (we don’t use credit cards).  In order to replenish this money, the very next day we would cancel the satellite subscription.

Carlos did find a better deal on the TV we had found in Comp USA (sorry, I don’t recall exact price).  After figuring out how long it would take to replenish the money by canceling the TV service, we decided to go for it.  So, we canceled our subscription, bought the flat screen, and we watched ‘TV’ via our laptops.  We replenished the TV money in 8 months, so we have been saving money since October 2010.  And we accomplished this by setting up what we would normally pay for the satellite service, to go into our savings account automatically each month.

Now let me say this.  Once in a while I do miss the convenience of having a subscription, but after I think about it, I would not go back to paying to watch TV.  Gosh, now that I don’t have a job, this service would have been one we would have had to cancel right away.  I guess, not paying for the service allowed us to save more money, which in turn has made things easier for us now in our current situation!

While convenience is important to us, it becomes less important when we have to pay so much for it. An example of this is the cost of smartphones and the obligatory data plans that go with them, but that’s for another post.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it has been to save over $1000 a year for a subscription which included channels that we didn’t care about.

If you are considering dumping your cable or satellite provider, I recommend that you do.  Put that money towards something else or just put it in a savings account as a summer vacation fund or Christmas fund.  It may not seem like it, but having that extra money will give you such a peace of mind!  However, I concede, living in a cable or satellite-free home is not for everyone.

Good luck!

May 292012

Although I’m still not sure what is the best way for me to document my journey to loosing weight and getting in shape, I thought I should start and change it as needed.  So, here is my training for the last couple of weeks:

If you have trouble accessing the workbook, please let me know.

So far, I like the routine.  As I said in a previous post, I have only lost 4 lbs (5 now!), but I ‘m getting stronger and I do see a tini tiny bit of definition.  The most important aspect of any weight loss or training regimen is nutrition, and I still need to tighten my diet up a bit.  I am not one to make excuses, but I have noticed that some people take a longer time to see results than others, even while being strict.  I am one of those people.  Unfortunately.  This only means that I need to work harder.  I also need to keep my stress meter on the lower end (well, we all do).  Stress will have a big negative impact on my results, and I need to keep this in mind and in check.

Tomorrow I’ll share the training for the past couple of days, as well as some pictures of what we have (had the past couple of weeks) been eating.  Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, I will attempt to do Tosca Reno’s cooler 1 plan.  I’ll at least do as well as I can, with the food I have.


~ L.

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