Things that I’m loving right now: Cali edition!!!

I’ve just returned from northern California ( Sacramento to be exact) to visit family and I LOVED it! The weather, family, sights of the city and every where leading to the Bay Area was absolutely wonderful. The best thing about traveling is that you become acquainted with things that are not available back home. So, I decided to fill you in on those yummy things that caught my eye!

1.) Nation’s Giant Hamburgers- My hubby and my cousin had already “warned” me about the deliciousness of this food found at this chain, and the burger was great! Lightly toasted bun, burger piled high with sliced white onion, tomato, lettuce, pickles…..1/4 pound beef patty adorned with nice melty cheese….all that. The blueberry cheesecake that I ordered for dessert was absolutely divine. HOWEVER, if I had to make a choice between Texas-based Whataburger and Nation’s, Whataburger will win out. EVERY. TIME. Check ’em out here: http://nationsrestaurants.com/

2.) Del Taco- Granted, there are a few Del Taco restaurants in North Texas, but they were in great abundance in Sac ( to my delight )! In my opinion, Del Taco is Taco Bell’s more noble and honest cousin. The food is always fresh, none of the greasiness associated with Taco Hell, and more variety. My fave: Turkey Soft Tacos!!!!!

3.) Souley Vegan- Ah, yes…..Souley Vegan: a vegan restaurant specializing in soul food. Me and my crew ( hubby and kiddos) took a 50 minute drive into the Bay Area to Oakland to try this place out. It was well worth it. Keep in mind, it was vegan, so no meat, no refined sugars, no eggs and no dairy…….so how on earth did their mac n cheeze get so “creamy” ( for lack of a better word)????? Was it magic?! While my hubby ordered the broccoli and wild rice “cheeze” casserole, I indulged in the “shrimp” po-boy. Yes, it was diced up marinated seitan, dusted in cornmeal, and deep fried to Southern perfection. It was then laid on pillows of shredded lettuce on nice fluffy-soft French bread. It was further dressed with a drizzle of tartar sauce, and with a generous squeeze of lemon, sent my taste buds into overdrive. (See here: IMG_20160322_105246) I washed all of that down with orange-infused water ( again no refined sugar) and picked up a slice of red velvet cake for dessert. The taste of the red velvet was spot-on, and I could not tell the difference between that and regular boxed cake mix made with the usual stuff. Peep the deets here: http://www.souleyvegan.com/

4.) Roundtable Pizza – Roundtable Pizza came highly recommended by both my hubby and mother-in-law, and it did not disappoint. I had a personal size veggie pizza with garlic alfredo sauce, and it was delicious! The crust had a nice chew to it without being too hard. The cheese pizza was good as well- nice, bubbly cheese browned to pizza perfection on a hand tossed crust. It was definitely a grade above Domino’s! Here’s the link to the company website: http://www.roundtablepizza.com/rtp/

Let’s play catch up!

Good morning (or evening, depending on when you’re reading this)! It has been quite some time since I last posted- and a lot has happened! So, let’s catch up, shall we?

1.) Family emergency- Barely into the new year, my hubby was rushed to the ER with symptoms similar to a heart attack (you know, chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath). Despite his insistence that he drive himself to the hospital, I immediately called 911. Words cannot express the fear that I felt as the paramedics put him in the ambulance at 3 a.m, while I shuffled our toddler son and infant daughter into the car to meet up with him at the hospital. The doctors diagnosed him wth atrial fibrillation, prescribed meds that he will need for the rest of his life, and kicked off an immediate need for lifestyle reform….which leads to the next point…..

2.) Lifestyle changes as a result of aforementioned family emergency- Lately I have been working out with Tiffany Rothe videos on You Tube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyVvJnPgyko). 15-30 minutes a day for at least 5 days out of the week have proven to be successful! Being able to wear clothes purchased 6 years ago (waaaay before the arrival of my kids) has been the best motivator for me. My hubby has been searching for the best way to incorporate physicial activity at his job, which requires him to sit at a desk most of the day. So far, walking during his lunch break is a great start. Another thing I’ve been working on is eliminating refined sugars and dairy, as well as cutting back on caffeine and meat. It’s kinda difficult, because I love my sweet tea, passionate over Whataburger patty melts, and I am a total cheesehead! However, I have used agave and unrefined sugar, and am looking at cheese substitutes like Daiya and Follow My Heart. I’m a big fan of Gardein, but getting my whole family on board is a work in progress!!

3.) Working at home for the major retailer- Work is good. It’s flexible and allows me to work from home, which works perfectly in my lifestyle as a stay at home mom with NO outside childcare. However, there is no career growth with this position, and I am wondering how long I can continue to work with no outside childcare (hubby watches the kiddos in the evening while I work). I can’t deny it- I am at best when I work in the morning, and it is hard for me to sit at my desk for two hours at a time, while assisting angry customers with billing and order issues. Finally, my college degree and family pedigree has prepped me for entrepreneurship. My father owned a janitorial service company, just as his parents did. Being an entrepreneur is in my blood.

4.) New enterprises??- Actually I am working on TWO projects. The first one I don’t mind speaking freely about; the second enterprise is something that my hubby and I are actively working on and is still in the infancy stage but very promising. In December 2015, I signed up as a Brand Ambassador for La Senorita Jolie. I needed a new challenge, some extra income, AND a new wardrobe! I can honestly say that the clothes are beautifully made and perfect in designing a minimalist wardrobe- which is like manna for moms! Each piece can be layered with another piece, timeless to wear, and extremely flattering for every body type out there. Each garment from this line is an investment, and moves seamlessly from home to office to play. I’m considering on FINALLY taking my brother’s advice and do some videos for this blog- perhaps I will do some for LSJ? For more info, click here: https://lasenoritajolie.com/Guest/Order/Product.aspx

So that’s it…..for now!