Life Update

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Wow! Let’s just say that life has been quite the roller coaster. I thought it would be appropriate to give a little life update. Some of you may know that my hubby and I are college sweethearts. When we met he initially wanted to become a doctor. As time passed and research he learned that he didn’t want to be a doctor after all. Instead he wanted to become a Physician Assistant. Since we graduated college Mr.QD has hit the ground running to pursue becoming a PA. He worked countless night shifts in an ambulance and a hospital, and spent an enormous amount of hours studying and taking pre-requisites. Then time came to applying to PA school and months and months of waiting which felt like an eternity to wait to hear back from schools. Hundreds of dollars on applications, rejection letter after another, and many more sacrifices led to a journey.

Now this journey had many sacrifices and challenges. We’ve had to move to another county, be an hour away from our family, move to a place with what felt like an extremely different climate, leave my teaching job, leave our church, leave our ministry, and explore a different career. All of these sacrifices and challenges we thought were made for Mr. QD to get into PA school. Little did we know that it was for the Lord to do a great work on me and Mr.QD both individually and collectively in our marriage.

Looking back to where we were and where we are now, we realize that the Lord had us on a journey to get to know Him better. We experienced a lot of hard things and the Lord taught us so much! These experiences are ones we cherish and wouldn’t trade for the world as these hard seasons really helped us build the foundation of our marriage in Christ.

From 2010 to now 2016 we planned and envisioned our lives to be somewhere else. However, the Lord’s perfect plan and timing is always best. This month Mr.QD has been accepted into PA school! The journey that the Lord has taken him through without a doubt will make him a better PA than the PA he could have been in 2010. We praise the Lord for His great work in our lives in the good and bad times. Everything is all working out for His glory!

This fall we are excited for Mr.QD to not have a life for 2 years and to start his endeavor in becoming a PA. In the coming fall I will also start my grad program which will be a 2 year journey as well. We will both be super busy and we are so excited and nervous all at the same time!

So there you have it folks! We will now be living lives buried in books and writing countless papers (for me). I will still be around to blog so don’t worry!

Until next time…
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Money money money money…. money!

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I know this is a totally random post but in the spirit of supporting a good friend and this amazing finances series she is writing on her blog I thought I’d piggy back off of her and share our story!

For starters Mr. QD and I aren’t really big spenders. We like to think of ourselves to be quite simple. However, I will say that we never spoke about finances before we got married. We breezed through the finances portion of our pre-marital counseling. The only thing we knew going into our marriage was that we had a lot of school debt. We had both come from a private Christian college so that only means double the student loans. Let’s just say that when we go married our first experience with finances was realizing that our monthly student loan payments would be more than our rent.

As newlyweds we had numerous people approach us about this Dave Ramsey guy. To be honest we did not give it the time and day because we thought it was just another multi-level marketing presentation. Little did we know…

It was not until we moved to a different county and a different church when someone we really respected told us about how they were becoming debt free and there was going to be a big celebration. We were curious and then Dave Ramsey’s name was dropped. You would think that would get our attention but nope still not that much interested. It wasn’t until a good friend from our new church was telling me about her life and what her and her family have been going through over the last few years (at the time). Basically they were renting a town home because they had sold their home and many of their belongings to make a huge dent on their debt. Two years later they were able to make a huge dent on their debt!

Finally, we looked into it. If you know Mr. QD well you would characterize him as an all or nothing guy. I on the other hand like to take time to think things through. He read the Total Money Makeover book in a day and started perusing through Dave’s website and utilized the tools on the website. I came home from work one day and he cut our credit cards in my face without even consulting me first! Now, I am sure he will say that he was a little extreme and probably would have handled his excitement a little differently. He kept saying, “Babe we need to move like a gazelle!” If you’ve read Dave’s book you know what that means! But I wasn’t ready.

In the Lord’s perfect providence I lost my job. I was mortified! We already lived on a month to month basis, how were we going to survive? I called Mr. QD in fear that he would be upset and his response was “Sweet! Come Home!” Not the response I was expecting. I think he was at peace with the circumstances for several reasons, one of them trusting in the Lord’s providence and also the perfect excuse to buckle down and have Dave a part of our lives.

Now to preface this we were living in a 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment overlooking a golf course! Prior to that as Mr. QD was talking about moving like a gazelle the first thing to go was the apartment and I refused because it was such a beautiful and tranquil place. Yeah let me tell you that the day I lost my job Mr. QD did not hesitate to schedule apartment tours and ready to move out and downsize. I had ran out of excuses to resist Dave. So indeed we moved to a one bedroom apartment is where we still live in until this day. That season of me out of a job I had taken on multiple temp jobs as I signed on with a temp agency and then I had started a dessert catering “business”. That was the hardest yet sweetest season in our marriage (that story will be for another day).

With multiple random odd end jobs Mr.QD stepped it up and was working 2 or 3 jobs and with our income he started snowballing our debt. Even with one income we were able to make a dent in our debt and did not budge once to get a credit card. There were moments where our refrigerator and our kitchen pantry was empty with only rice and beans. The Lord always provided for us and instead on incurring more debt in that season we were able to pay down our debt.

So, where are we now? I will be honest and say that we aren’t snowballing our debt as rigorously as we probably should. However, we are still snowballing our debt in several areas and saving as well. But with all that said, Dave changed my paradigm in how I perceive money. It has changed the way I have shopped and even the way I look at things.

Now, I know this is a really long drawn out post… But stay tuned for my next post on how we do our finances and shopping.

Also, do not forget to check out Patty’s blog on her financial journey!

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Hello! // Life

Where have I been?!?!?

Boy, to say that life has been uneventful would be a lie. Since I’ve last blogged, life has had it’s sweetest times and it’s hardest times as well. However, in all of it the Lord has remained sovereign. This is a song that is a great reminder that trials are momentary in light of eternity. Also, through these momentary trials the Lord will be glorified.

So, here is a little piece of my heart today.

I hope to blog more often so look out for tomorrow’s post on FINANCES! Hot topic I know! Stay tuned!

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Blogtember Challenge: Day 1 // Meet Dannielle Loise

Hello World!!!
Now I know I say this ALL the time… but boy has it been a while since I have been here!!! But let me tell you that it has been way too long. I took another hiatus for the summer. I just vegged and really relaxed this summer. But I am back and of course life is as crazy as ever. Well in Dannielle fashion I figured, why not populate my life with more things to do! Well I see this as a stress reliever in a sense! So join me as I join the 2015 Blogtember Challenge hosted by Brave Love Blog! Now I will be completely honest with you and tell you that I suck at these kinds of challenges so I cannot promise that I will post everyday, but I will try a minimum on once or twice a week!

Blogtember

Day 1: Introduce Yourself

Now if you are a Quite Dainty reader you might know quite a bit about me. You might already also know about my blogging journey and how I came up with the name Quite Dainty.

So I will spare you those details and just share with you some updates on my life. For starters I just celebrated my 5th year wedding anniversary with my husband (aka hubby or Mr.QD). I will tell you that this year our marriage has been extremely sweet. There are plenty of reasons or things that made it sweet, and that will be another post but in short the sweetness comes from denying yourself for the other.
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Aside from celebrating our wedding anniversary I also recently just started the school year. Now for those of you who are new here, I am a second grade teacher in California. I will tell you that I absolutely love my job! you know how they say that teaching is the most rewarding job? Well it is! It is a ton of work and you have to have a lot invested in it but it is worth it! School has started and I have a really sweet group of students this year! I am trying a bunch of new things in my classroom so I look forward to sharing that all with you guys.
Classroom

Also, let me not forget to mention that this month I have also joined a fitness challenge with my friend Patty from Make It Cozee! Let’s just say it has already been challenging and it’s only been day 2! Fighting a cold has not been the best start… but I will just extend my challenge 2 days!

Lastly, (most importantly) the hubby and I also lead the Junior High group at our church. Now I know I said that teaching is the most rewarding job…. well this is even more rewarding! I absolutely love our kiddos and the girls in our class are amazing! They are the sweetest gals and I learn so much from them! With that said our ministry year is starting up and I cannot wait.

So that is it with introductions. I hope you stay tuned to what is to come with the Blogtember Challenge!

Be sure to follow me on instagram!
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3 Time Saving Tips

Time Saving Tips
I am so excited to be posting along side Patty from MakeItCozee today! We’ve been wanting to share some ways in which we are able shave off some time in our weekly routines. So here it goes…

>> 1. Make a GAME PLAN >>
What was helpful to me was listing out all the things I need to accomplish within my week. So mine would be cooking, cleaning, packing lunch for myself and hubby, working out, my teaching job, to list a few. Then I  would figure out which of these things can be done ahead of time or which of these things can I prep for ahead of time. Lastly, I get my calendar and try to figure out when in my schedule things can get done. Now some people invest in cool planners, as for me what I found that works is Google Calendar. I have a calendar for work and for personal life. On my iPhoneI have my work calendar, my personal calendar, and even hubby’s work calendar all synced on my phone. This has been a huge help to both of us when making plans (plus we are aware of each other’s work load).

>> 2. Make a ROUTINE >>
Once I figure out my game plan and prioritize all the things I get done I figure out a routine.

Cooking: I have found meal prepping to be very helpful (to be honest it is a lifesaver). I find one day in the week to go grocery shopping and meal prep (this is usually Sundays).

Cleaning: I create my own weekly cleaning schedule. I stress the importance of creating your own, because for some people the pre-made ones you find on pinterest work, however I find that most of those are for stay at home moms. I found myself stressing out because I couldn’t get everything done on that list. Instead what I did was create my own weekly cleaning routine and made it reasonable for what fit in my life/schedule. I grabbed this free planner from Pinterest and I love it!

Daily Routine: On the free planner I mentioned above, I also pencil in my work outs for the week and other tasks I need to get done for that day.

>> 3. Make a LIST >>
Now if you are like me I love making lists! However, sometimes I write really long lists and I get discouraged. I have found myself to make several smaller lists. For example I have my grocery list. And then I create a daily list (of things to do). I keep it to no more than 5-7 things (the smaller the better). Then I also create a reward system for myself that once I accomplish everything on my list I reward myself! That reward could be a treat or simply could be watching youtube!

Now by no means will I tell you that I am an expert in these things however I am a work in progress. I find that the times that I do stick to these things not only do I save time but also money. Then the most gratifying reward from following these tips is the feeling of accomplishment! Let me know what your Time Saving tips are, I’d love to hear them. Also, do not forget to stop by MakeItCozee to check out Patty’s Time Saving Tips!

Stay tuned for my Cleaning Routine!

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//May-June 2015//As of lately…

Why hello everyone! Boy has it been a while since I’ve last posted. Life kind of picked up in a whirlwind! This is what I’ve been up to…

As many of you know I am a 2nd Grade teacher. The few months I was just immersed in finishing up the school year, finishing my first year of Induction (clearing my credential), and finishing up writing the math curriculum for my grade level for my district.
End of the year

I’ve also been busy with helping a friend with this awesome Ninja Turtles cake that the bride surprised her groom with! I can’t take credit for the cake, just for the fondant Ninja Turtles! Then the week after this awesome cake my nephew was turning ONE and he had an UP themed first birthday so of course Tita (auntie in Tagalog) had to make his smashcake and cupcakes!
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Lately I’ve also been doing much research on essential oils and thought I’d give it a try. Let’s just say I am addicted!!! I absolutely love it! Stay tuned for my essential oils post coming soon!!!Oils

On top of all of that we’ve been preoccupied attending weddings and finishing up the ministry year with our Junior High Sunday School class. Life just kept the hubby and I on our toes! With all that said, I am super duper excited for summer! I plan to be working through summer, preparing for the upcoming school year, and I do have some plans of relaxation, projects, organizing, cleaning, and blogging! So stay tuned!!! Patty (from MakeItCozee) and I have some plans to collaborate this summer on some blog posts! Also I cannot wait to share my Oily (essential oils) journey with all of you!

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Healthy Living: Meal Prep

Hello Everyone!

Today I am super excited to share our Meal Prep routine! First, I want to start by saying that meal prepping is a COMMITMENT and it is supposed to be ENJOYABLE not stressful! If it is neither of those two things then you will fail.

DISCLAIMER: By no means am I an expert. By no means have I perfected this, however this is my journey. My personal journey in which you are witnessing and possibly joining in on along side of me!

Meal Prep//COMMITMENT//
It is first and foremost a COMMITMENT. It takes time and is not something that can be done on the fly. It involves a lot of planning and intentionality. You are planning and cooking what you are eating for an entire week. If you are anything like me, my cravings is my worst enemy (see below how I tackle that), and so I will crave something in the middle of the week. Well here is the thing, meal prepping is such a commitment so not only are you “cheating” but you are wasting money when you do. Because every meal that is prepped and not eaten is money down the drain. Also, note that the commitment is not something you make for yourself but for your household. For true success, the whole house needs to be fully committed. With that said be intentional about preparing a little bit of what everyone likes.

Also, it is a commitment is most successfully made as a family. We struggled in the beginning because this lifestyle was my husband’s idea but yet all of the planning and prepping was falling on me. I work full time as a teacher (teachers understand the struggle because it is REAL), and it became cumbersome and overwhelming. Then my husband saw how I was stressing out and we concluded that he too needed to be a part of it. Now meal prepping is like a mini date! We pop in a movie on our laptops or even just dance around to music. It is such a sweet time and we are having fun! So I encourage you to make it a family affair, involve the entire family if possible. When you do, everyone takes ownership of it and appreciates the work/thought that goes into it.

//ENJOYABLE//
It has to be ENJOYABLE! After all, the purpose of this is to get you healthy and to make you feel better! This does not mean that you have to eat salad all day everyday (although some people are okay with that). See a struggle for me and my husband is that we thought we had to give up our “ethnic” food. In all reality this was not true, we just had to make modifications to the recipes and make compromises (basically compromising the taste for the quality). Again, make at least one thing that each person in your household likes. For example if you like spinach, your husband likes green beans, your kid loves sweet potato then incorporate it in one of your meals. For example, sweet potato as a side for breakfast, spinach for lunch, and green beans as a side for dinner.

Okay let’s get the ball rolling!
VisionStep 1: Vision
First, create a vision for your family. What is this whole meal prepping thing going to mean for your family? What commitments are you going to stick to? Is it to lose weight? Is it to rid your body of as much toxins as possible? Is this a temporary change or a lifestyle change? What things are you going to put your foot down on? What things are you willing to compromise? With the amount of commitment involved, I am pretty sure it is going to be a lifestyle change.

PlanningStep 2: Planning
PLAN PLAN PLAN!!! This means consider your schedule, your family’s likes and dislikes, etc. For us we do our actual meal prep on Sunday. The planning happens all throughout the week prior to Sunday. Whatever you do, do not plan on the fly (basically do not plan while you are grocery shopping). Also, I do not recommend shopping then prepping. I find myself being so crabby by the end of it because I am so exhausted. Then if I am crabby and exhausted, then I associate meal prepping with grabiness! No bueno!

BreakfastStep 3: Breakfast
Now you all know how they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, well it is! Think about it, this is what gives you a head start. This is your first fuel for the day. Hubby and I prepare breakfast for the week. We prepare 10 containers (one for each day). Our breakfast usually is high in protein. We usually make egg muffins with veggies (just a glorified omelet I guess). Then we pair it up with some uncured turkey bacon. At first we were not eating grains for a while but we decided to just be selective with grains so on that note I want to start making some quinoa oatmeal breakfast in a jar.

Lunch

Step 4: Lunch
Now if you follow my blog you  know what we have for lunch. Now, I am not a salad eater so this was a hard adjustment for me. So in order to get over this hurdle I needed to make sure I added things that I liked to eat in my salad. For example, I am a meat eater… so I NEED MEAT! Next, I needed something that would fill me up, so I added Quinoa. Check out my post here for more details. Now salads might not work for everyone every single week, so switch it up! Have what you would have for dinner for lunch and vice versa.

SnacksStep 5: Snack
This is huge for me! I am a sweet and salty kind of girl, that is what drives my cravings. This process was a transition like everything else. But snacks for me are carrots, cucumber slices, organic trail mix, small slices of cheese, hard boiled eggs, organic pretzels, and fruit.

DinnerStep 6: Dinner
We make one or two veggie sides for the week. So this may be braised string beans, bok choy, sauteed mushrooms, zuchini, etc. Then we have some carbs of some sort usually organic quinoa or organic brown rice. Lastly we have our protein. Our protein is usually salmon, chicken, or beef.

BeveragesStep 7: Beverages
WATER WATER WATER! We drink tons of water. I always grew up with water so I am not opposed to water (I thank my parents for that). The hubs will always will joke when people come over, he asks them “would you like water, water, or water”.  So we make infused waters or iced tea with honey as sweetener. Sometimes we have juice, but we prefer fresh squeezed (or pressed) juice.

RoutineStep 8: Routine
1. Night before you meal prep be sure to defrost all of your meats (marinate if needed), hard boil your eggs, cook quinoa.
2. Prep Day: Put on some comfy shoes, and comfy clothes because this will take about 3-4 hours. Set the mood! Put on some music, and have fun! Right now my favorite online radio is songza.com.
3. Boil your water to make your iced tea. We generally make 1 or 2 pitchers to last the week.
4. Start chopping all your veggies for your sides. Also wash your greens for your salads and lay them out to dry.
5. We start to kick things off with making the breakfast items. For example the “egg muffins”, I put it together and stick it in the oven. And while that is in the oven I start cooking the bacon.
6. Next I move onto the protein. If it is chicken or beef, I usually have had it marinated. Then we grill it on our stovetop cast iron grill or bake it in the oven.
7. Then I continue with dinner, which is usually first making the sides (ie. quinoa salad, sautéing veggies, etc).
8. Afterwards, I get working on my salad in a jar. I fill up my jars (as seen here) then you are good to go!
9. Lastly, I make our dessert and snacks. Dessert just means cutting up fruit and separating some in small mason jars to pack and some to leave at home. I also, will pre-package snacks at this time as well.
10. Finally, refrigerate everything. Take a step back and look at what you have just accomplished! It is a ton of work but totally worth it!!
Here is a peek into our refrigerator…
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Questions//FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS//
How do you fight the cravings?
I have had to learn self control in this area, one way I’ve done that is by asking myself “Okay are you really craving French Fries or do you just want something salty? Are you really craving Ice Cream or just craving something sweet or cold?” The best way I have addressed this is by finding alternatives. So for Ice Cream I have learned to make banana ice cream. For salty cravings I would eat a hardboiled egg. For crunchy cravings I’ve snacked on a few organic pretzels.

Do you eat fast food?
Occasionally, yes! Weekends are usually our times to eat out, not always fast food of course. Also, the longer we do this the more I see ourselves making better decisions when we eat out. However we have the occasional times that we eat junk, and let’s just say that we pay for it!

Do you buy everything organic?
The answer is no (see my post here on what items we do buy that is organic)?

What about your sugar intake?
We try to receive our sugars from fruits and veggies. Then as a sweetener we use honey majority of the time. We hardly use granulated sugar, we avoid it as much as possible if we can control. Off course except for the other times which we occasionally have a soda or a cake.

Do you control your portions?
Yes and no. We are mindful about our portions, however we don’t necessarily weigh everything out. Basically we eyeball it.

If you have questions please ask away in the comments! The comments is at the top of the post on the left side of the title of this post. I’d love to hear from you! What are your meal prepping routines?

Thank you for taking a peak into our healthy living lifestyle journey! Be sure to click here to see more into this Healthy Living journey that we are on!!!
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