//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!
Cakes

 

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…
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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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THE GUYS BEHIND THE BLOG // April Link-Up

It is that time again! Boy did the month fly by! So here we go… Let’s see what Mr.QD had to say?
TGBTB

1 // Has Starbucks ever spellled your name wrong on a cup? If yes, what’s the craziest way that someone has spelled it?
Yes. Just Willie with a Y instead. Nothing too crazy!

2 // Who would play your wife/fiance/girlfriend in a movie or TV show about your lives?
Mr. – Uhmm what’s that girl’s name from the Notebook and the Vow?
Mrs. – Rachel McAdams? Her, really? Why?
Mr. – I dunno. Because she comes out in all romantic movies and because you are a hopeless romantic.
Mrs. – Ok?
Mr. – Well this is a hard question because I don’t know celebrities. I mean I still think that the girl from friends (Phoebe) is the same girl from 27 Dresses (Katherine Heigl). Ok ok let me think… Oh I know! The wife from King of Queens (Leah Remini)?
Mrs. – Seriously? Why her?
Mr.  – Yeah her! I dunno because she is direct, speaks her mind, Doesn’t back down, and she is really funny!
Mrs. – Seriously? Her?
Mr. – Yeah babe, because you are REALLY FUNNY!
Mrs. – SURE!

3 // What is your proudest accomplishment?
Marrying you? Or graduating from college.

4 // What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas, because it has a lot of memories. Also because it is a warm season. And of course the birth of my savior!

5 // What is your favorite breed of dog?  If you don’t have a favorite breed, describe the characteristics of your ideal dog (or cat)!
Definitely not a maltese! I mean he is a good puppy but I don’t like him.
(1. this is the breed of our current dog // 2. he isn’t a puppy anymore but i like to think he still is // 3. he says it’s his wife’s dog // 4. deep down inside he loves him)

If I could have my way… it would be between a Rottweiler and a German Shepherd. Strong, big dogs. Remind me of my fine self. Fearless, brave, strong, and protects.

And there you have it… the MAN has spoken! Hope you enjoyed Mr.QD’s response. We had a good laugh doing this month’s GBTB! Stay tuned for next month’s post, and if you missed last month’s here it is!

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April Ipsy Unboxing

Why Hello Beautiful!

Today I wanted to share with you my very first Ipsy bag! I had subscribed for the Ipsy bag back in February and was put of the waiting list. I am so excited to have finally gotten my first bag!

First, let me start off by telling you how much I love the products that came in my bag. Take a look at this Flipagram to see a preview of the contents of my bag.

For starters let’s talk about the bag it came in. Isn’t it so cute? The combination of the wicker/hemp with the colors was super cute.

First I want to talk about the Hikari blush. I loved the coral shade of this blush, it is perfect for spring. It is a little lighter and brighter than what I would normally wear but it is a good switch for the spring.
IMG_0029
Next up is the LATHER ultra light face lotion. Thankfully this product came in its own ziplock baggie because it exploded in the bag. I wrote Ipsy and thankfully they will be sending me a new one. Thank goodness they are because I love this moisturizer. In the packaging it indicated that it was a non-greasy everyday moisturizer. Indeed it is non-greasy! After application if gives you a matte smoothness feeling!
IMG_0032

Then I got this KCO Colors lippy. It is great for everyday use, however it is not super pigmented. The application is very light. I swear Ipsy knows me because the muave tone is totally me. I haven’t quite built up the courage to wear lippy shades other than muave and plum. This lippy was definitely in my comfort zone!
IMG_0030
My absolute favorite product in this bag is by far the perfume! This JOR’EL PARKER fragrance in Feminina is just delightful. I do not know how to describe the scent other than sweet and pleasant. It has a slight floral hint to it but not super flowery that is over powering. This was a favorite of Mr.QD as well! I think this is the first scent that we both love!
IMG_0031

Last but not least are these fun NUDE Dude eyeshadows in Flirty. First, let us talk about the packaging! I love the graphic on the packaging, it makes me giggle every time. Again talk about Ipsy knowing me so well… This bronzy color is an every day shade that I wear. This eyeshadow has a nice shimmer to it. It is not super pigmented unless applied with a wet brush.
IMG_0033

I hope you were just as excited as I was to unbox my first Ipsy bag! So far so good! I was very pleased with the products that was in my bag. I cannot wait for the next bag! I love getting packages in the mail, so this will be so exciting. This Ipsy subscription is actually a birthday gift for my birthday, so I feel like it’s Mr.QD getting me a birthday present every month! It is going to be super fun!

Do you subscribe to Ipsy? If you do, please comment below how you like it? If you don’t, use my referral link to start! Hope you do decide to join in on the fun!

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Spring Favorites 2015 with Make It Cozee

Spring Favorites - Thumbnail
Hello Friends! Today, Patty from Make It Cozee and I are partnering up by posting our 2015 Spring Favorites. It has become a little tradition of ours. Here is our 2014 Spring Favorites (QUITEDAINTY & MAKEITCOZEE). Be sure to check out Patty’s favorites for this year!

Let’s start with nails! If you know me you know how much I love nail polish! This brand is an absolute favorite! My friend Jackie introduced me to this Hawaiian brand called Island Girl! It is AMAZING! You can obviously find these in Hawaii specifically at ABC Stores. Mr.QD and I went to Vegas on Valentines Day and we stayed at a hotel which had an ABC Store downstairs! I about died when I saw the store and even more so when I found a whole section of Island Girl nail polishes! Aren’t these colors just so vibrant! The silver is also my favorite, it really comes out very metallic looking!
Spring Favorites- Nails

Next up… make up brushes! I have been wanting these brushes for so long I just never got around to buying them. I see them all over blogs and youtube! I was perusing through Walmart one day and found them! I was floored when I saw these! I thought you could only find them at Ulta or Sephora! I absolutely love them! They are good quality brushes!!! This set was only about $15!
Make up brushes

Then it can’t be a favorites post without lippy products! This is a new favorite for me! I love how long it lasts, how it has the perfect texture on your lips, and I love the color. They have a ton of colors. I chose this as a safe color (Rico Mauve) to try out the consistency of it. I am definitely going back to get the brighter springy colors. Best part is that it was only $3 and it has a twistable bottom! It is comparable to my NARS lip crayon down to the color and everything, if not better because it is a stain.
Balm Stain

Up next are accessories. I am absolutely in love with bracelets to accent an outfit. I especially love Alex and Ani bangles to add to it. Plus the Alex and Ani bangles were given to me as a gift so it has an extra special meaning to me.
Bangles

Now by no means am I a model but I wanted to show you my current favorite Spring pieces. First is this Kimono Cardigan. It is absolutely perfect for the airy spring weather! You can dress it down or up, it is so versatile and quite dainty if you ask me!
kimono

Then my next favorite is this beautiful scarf given to me by my godmother! Again another piece you can dress up or down. I love the vibrant colors and the options in how to wear it. It is nice and big enough to use as a shawl. You know wedding season is coming up so this would be perfect to wear for a spring evening wedding and can be worn with a simple black dress! Also pictured is this green purse with a braided strap and gold accents. Gold has definitely been making a comeback the last year and it goes with anything! You can also (barely) see my Target sandals, I fell in love with the coral color blocking strap!
Spring Favorites

I hope you enjoyed my Spring Favorites! Be sure to make you way to see Patty’s Spring Favorites!

Also, what are some of your Spring Favorites? Leave a comment (above left) or Instagram it and use the hashtag #QDSpringFavorites.
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PEONY PROJECT // Peace

PP - April Peace

I think it is so fitting that this month’s Peony Project post is on PEACE. I will be honest, this is an area in my life that is quite difficult for me. For those who know me well, they know that I like to stay busy. I am often over committed. I do not know what it is but I seem to inflict stress upon myself often. In turn, I struggle with being still. My life is often chaotic.

How do I find peace in it all? Honestly, it is Christ that sustains me. Majority of the things I do that keep me so busy is done for other people (essentially for Christ of course). For example, my job. I have a full time teaching job. I probably am more invested than I should be at times but my job to me is not merely just a job but a ministry. I love my job and all that it entails. I love my students, the families I serve, my colleagues, the school I work at, the district I work at, my administrators, etc. Is it all peachy all the time? Of course not, but I love it because at the end of the day I know that I am using my God given gift to teach for the Lord.

One way I find peace in the chaos is by spending quality time with my husband. If you think I am busy, my husband is even busier! Currently he is a full time student during the week, then works in the ER on the weekends, still manages to make it to church on Sunday and we serve the Junior High group at our church together. I have found that life seems to be the most chaotic when I am not rehearsing the Gospel daily and when my husband and I are not on the same page. We try to spend a minimum of one evening a week to touch base and to be sure that we as a couple are centering our marriage on Christ.

Then individually speaking, I find peace in it all the chaos through my daily meditations. My pastor, Milton Vincent wrote this amazing book called the Gospel Primer.  The book speaks of “…preach(ing) the gospel to yourself each day…” Every morning as I drive to work I rehearse the Gospel to myself. My morning commute is a sacred time for me as I foresee my long day before me, and I find peace in knowing that the Lord is by my side each stride of the day. I take comfort in also knowing that each challenge that I may encounter is sovereignly placed before me to sanctify me.

1 Corinthians 10:13 is often thrown around. You may have heard “the Lord will never give you anything you can’t handle” as this is true it is important to read the verse in its full context.

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

Here is a great blog post that breaks this passage down in the context in which Paul intended.

With all the said, Jesus is my peace in all the craziness of life. I would love to hear what is your peace in the chaos of life. Also, let me know if you read the blog post on 1 Corinthians 10:13. I’d love to hear your reflection!

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Salad in a Jar

Salad in a Jar - Graphic

Now how exciting is this?!?!? SALAD IN A JAR! I know you have seen them around, and yes, I have join in on the craze! Whoever thought of this is genius! It is so easy to put together and let me tell you how convenient it is to just grab and go! I have to wake up really early in the morning and I don’t have time to prepare my lunch in the mornings. I have now added this to my meal prep regime!

At first I was hesitant because there is nothing worst than soggy greens! But after trying it, the greens hold up pretty nicely. I think 1. because the dressing is on the bottom, and 2. because it is in a Mason Jar. The extra perks about this is if you are anything like me, I love pickled veggies. Because the vinaigrette is at the bottom with cucumbers and carrots, they pickle over time and it is absolutely delicious!

Salad in a JarSo this is what I did…
1. Pour in your dressing (I made a Vinaigrette).
2. Add your hard veggies like carrots and cucumbers.
3. Add in other toppings of your choice (mine: artichoke hearts, bell peppers, garbanzo beans, and sunflower seeds).
4. Next, Add in your protein (mine: quinoa salad and grilled chicken).
5. Lastly, add your greens of choice.

Yes, it was that easy! It was super delicious and it was super cute in the Mason Jar! And even better, when you are ready to enjoy it just SHAKE away!

I hope you loved this as much as I did! Do you do salad in a jar? If so, what do you put in your salad? I’d love to see your salad in a jar, if you instagram use the hashtag #quitedaintyblog.

Until next time…
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