What I Ate Wednesday + Elsa thinks pictures are dumb

Warning: This may be the most boring “What I Ate Wednesday” that ever was.

For breakfast I cooked up an egg, toasted an English muffin, and called it a morning. With a huge cup of coffee, of course!

IMG_4956.JPG

The combination of fat, protein, and healthy carbs keeps me full throughout the morning for a pretty small number of calories.

After breakfast I did my Vietnamese lesson, took Santo on a long walk, and headed to Yoga! Pieology is right by our gym so I stopped in to make a healthy-ish personal pizza before work.

IMG_4950

Black olives, mushrooms, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and light cheese. I ate half of the pizza for lunch and the other half for dinner once I got off work!

I also sipped on a glass of “19 Crimes” while I watched the show Riverdale.

IMG_4954

Delicious wine, and such a good show. It’s so campy, ridiculous, over-dramatic, and wonderful. It’s loosely based on the Archie comic books which I loved reading as a kid! So yeah that’s all I ate yesterday. It wasn’t the most healthy or the most exciting but eh it got the job done and at least there were some veggies in there!

I have to share a funny story with you guys. Earlier this week, my sister and her husband and their dog Elsa had family photos taken. Halley and I adopted Elsa when we lived together in college, and when we first got her she was a timid, fearful, eager-to-please little bean. Well, she’s certainly come full circle! She will moan pitifully if she hasn’t been walked and gives the worst death-glares if she isn’t getting her way. Anyway, the photos. Her face in all of them is HILARIOUS.

fullsizeoutput_21a5

She’s just staring off in the distance looking so bored or giving rude stares the entire time. hah! She just was not having it. I love that goofball. David and I have got to get family pictures done with Santo.

 

Advertisements

Back to our originally scheduled programming

I disappeared again for a couple weeks!! Many apologies. When I’m having a hard time I tend not to want to post because nobody wants a whiner. Also, when I’m feeling really down I get so. dang. sleepy. so I just felt too zonked out early in the morning to write coherent sentences. But here I am! I’m doing better, feeling okay, and ready to be in the blogosphere again.

IMG_4348

Here’s a picture of me in case you forgot what I looked like. Except I am not blonde anymore. And why am I touching my shoulder like that? For fashion modeling. Obviously.

Among all the crappiness and me being really sad, December has also been a really wonderful month! Isn’t it odd how that happens? You look back over a period of time where you felt awful and all you can see are really fun memories. It doesn’t make sense, but I’m so lucky that I have those memories.

We took a trip to Central Point with my parents to go and stay with my sister! It was the first time all 6 of us had been together at Halley and Jake’s home, and it was the best.

IMG_4810IMG_4809fullsizeoutput_215aIMG_4800IMG_4787

The professional-looking photos were snapped by my sis while we hunted for a Christmas tree. She’s such an amazing photographer! I know I sound like a broken record, but my family is the BEST. I don’t have a picture of Jake in here for some reason but I promise I also find his presence to be somewhat tolerable.

There was a TON of Santo snuggling this month…

IMG_4883IMG_4930IMG_4828

David has been planning all sorts of new Christmas traditions for us too! Our apartment is a twinkly light dream, we’ve visited The Grotto, hosted my parents for dinner and a Christmas movie, tried out some new holiday cocktails, and really gotten into the season!

IMG_4875IMG_4871IMG_4840IMG_4833

The sleeping goat was in a petting zoo at one of the light shows we attended. I WILL have goats someday. I promise you that. Little goats, my dogs, a big yard for them to frolic in, and some methamphetamine so that I can never sleep and therefore have time to work, raise my family, and take care of all those animals. The American dream.

I’m happy to be back doing my online “journal”, thanks for bearing with me while I needed some time to myself. I’ll be back tomorrow with our regularly scheduled post! Happy December!

Oh yeah and P.S. David and I have been married for four months today!

NguyenFeatured-1021

He’s a great teammate. I think I’ll keep him around.

Santo’s house

We had our 6-month apartment inspection this morning. I totally forgot about it! I answered the door in a baggy Cowboys t-shirt with pajama pants on, a big bun on top of my head. You know the look. Normally I wouldn’t share something so mundane…but you GUYS. Santo was so. freaking. proud. Our landlord walked all around the rooms looking at everything and Santo sat like this the entire time:

IMG_4856

His tail was pounding so hard and he sat erect with his toy, barely moving an inch as she looked around. He’s like “yes dis my house I work vurry hard to keep toys in every room. come in come in. Luk som more.” She walked over to pet him and he moo’d like a cow, trying to howl in excitement through his toy. haha! They’ve had to come in a few times while we were gone to fix stuff, and she said they always let Santo out of his kennel to pet him and he brings them toys. Our fearsome guard dog.

He was just so PROUD. I can’t get over it. What a good, good boy.

IMG_4629

THANKSGIVING

Well my week of Thankfulness turned into two days of thankfulness. Oops. There’s just so much in my life to be thankful for that I couldn’t possibly boil it down to 5 or 7 posts! My comfortable home, good health, amazing friends, great education, jobs I love…and then there’s the little things too! My glasses, books, good tv shows, coffee, access to a bajillion cool grocery stores and markets, gym classes, a home that has actual insulation (I’ve gone without for four years let me tell you..never again), libraries, nice people who always give me my coffee for free at New Seasons grocery store…the list goes on and on and on! I’m also really thankful for run-on sentences because sometimes I just need to say ALL THE THINGS and there is no room for punctuation in there.

My Thanksgiving Thursday was wonderful! I started the morning by volunteering at OHSU. Wow. What a beautiful way to start my day. A group called the Candlelighters came in and set up a HUGE gorgeous, delicious-smelling Thanksgiving dinner for everyone. I met a bunch of families, facilitated a game of hot potato, and wished everyone I saw a happy thanksgiving. I had a long conversation with a mother there about how many people go out of their way at that hospital just to try and make you smile. It inspires me to give more and do more to help those around me.

After volunteering, I came home to catch the first half of the Cowboys game with my old men!

IMG_4739.JPG

The Cowboys were doing…not so great….I was too busy taking selfies to get upset.

IMG_4738

David is a good sport…Santo isn’t.

IMG_4748

Around 2 we headed to our family friend Grant’s house! A bunch of people that my parents used to do theatre with were there. They’re such a warm, welcoming, hilarious, loving group of people. I didn’t snap a single photo because I set my phone down and forgot all about it. The best. I came home STUFFED, happy, and unspeakably grateful. Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the whole year.

 

A Week of Thankfulness Day #3

Of course I have to mention my wonderful, supportive, fun, tight-knit, smart, hilarious, goofy family!

NguyenFamily-1018

*All these photos are by Jaclyn M Photography

I seriously hit the jackpot when it came to my family. My sister and I have been best friends since day one, I am incredibly close to my parents and I can tell them anything, my aunts and uncles are sources of never-ending wisdom and support, my cousins are my dear friends, and my grandparents never cease to show me that they love me. I’m pretty sure my Poppa is the most positive person on the planet. Jacob, my brother in law, feels like he’s been my brother forever and David is the kindest, most loyal person on the planet!

I’m also so thankful for the rest of my NEW family that has embraced me with open arms. I love you all!

NguyenFamily-1002

I’d be lost without all of these people. Words cannot even express.

NguyenFamily-1053NguyenFamily-1048NguyenFamily-1032NguyenFamily-1030NguyenFamily-1028

Also, thank you to our wonderful wedding photographer for capturing these images! I will treasure them forever and ever!

A Week of Thankfulness, Day #2 because I missed #1 oops sorry

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to take extra time this week to express gratitude for the ridiculous amount of blessings I have. There’s no way I could cover them all, but I want to focus on the things in my life that I LOVE.

Let’s start with the guy who this blog is named after: SANTO!

IMG_4711.JPG

Oh my goodness I love this adorable, snuggly, loving, lazy old man. He makes David and me laugh every single day and coming home to his little howl, waggling tail, and big sloppy kisses NEVER gets old. I hope he understands how loved he is. Every morning when I put my forehead against his giant cheek and rub his neck I am just so thankful that we found each other.

No matter where we go, he makes friends. When someone bends down to pet him he locks onto them with his huge, soulful brown eyes. He stares at them and wags his tail, reaching up towards them with all his energy. Inevitably, they end up squatting down and petting him for longer than they anticipated. He has given many impromptu therapy sessions to stressed out college students, that’s for sure!

IMG_4337

He always looks a little bit sad, but that tail lets me know how he’s really feeling.

He’s been coughing for about a week now, and yesterday morning he had such a bad coughing fit that he almost threw up. I called the vet and made an emergency appointment. We were there for almost three hours yesterday morning.

IMG_4701.JPG

“Dad, let’s bust out of here!!” 

Secretly, I was insanely worried about our little man. Our dog, Alice, who I will love forever and ever, died of heart failure. The first sign was a cough, so of course that’s the first place my mind went to.

Thank God, Santo is completely fine! He picked up a bout of “kennel cough” at the Pets Hotel last weekend. The vet listened to his heart and lungs and he’s fit and healthy for a senior dog. He has hydrocodone to suppress his cough and an antibiotic to clear up the infection. He’s feeling super lazy from the drugs and I am feeling especially grateful for his good health. I’m sure we have many more years together. 😀

IMG_3958

I think he’s enjoying alll the extra snuggles he’s getting as he recovers from his cough and I recover from my scare 😉

What’s something you’re thankful for today?!?

An update and things I’m loving Saturday!

I did some work yesterday morning on my Vietnamese lessons. I finished the remainder of Unit 1 and now I’m on to Unit two! The last lesson in the Unit requires the student to carry on a (rudimentary, very stilted) conversation without any hints. I had to do it four times before I felt I’d gotten a high enough score…but I was so happy!

Once Santo had heard enough of my ramblings, I leashed him up and we headed out for a walk. I was able to go longer than a block without getting lightning bolts down my leg so that was nice.

IMG_4666

It’s hard to tell, but Santo is completely on his front legs here. Only a couple branches are supporting his back legs. This is how he chooses to relieve himself…aren’t you glad I shared that?!? I find it hilarious! People walking by always remark upon it. I think this is half the reason his front shoulder muscles are shredded.

When we got home, we had a thoughtful package from our landlord!

IMG_4667

I hate being told what to do so I ate the whole thing. I’ve been violently ill for 24 hours now. (KIDDING KIDDING). When we got back from our walk I did some gentle yoga and Santo helped a lot.

IMG_4672IMG_4670

After work David and I met up with my parents for dinner downtown at a place called Tilt! They’re a burger place, but they have a full bar, a huge selection of homemade pies, tons of beers on tap, and a coffee joint that’s open in the mornings. Last night they had a live DJ playing and it was PACKED. The food was as wonderful as we all remembered. If you’re in the Portland area- it’s a must try. I had their house made veggie burger and it’s by far the best veggie burger in the game right now. (I’m a rapper for white hipsters apparently).

Time to share a few things I’ve been loving lately!!

  1. The Outlander Book Series 
Outlander-TV_series-2014

(starz.com)

I’ve somehow managed to remain completely insulated from any spoilers so please please please don’t ruin that for me. I’m only on book one and I love a great fantasy series. I was surprised by the quality of the writing and the amount of history I’m learning along the way. When I first heard about it I thought it was a romance novel (which is fine but not my cup of tea), but it’s so much more!

2. Santo’s antler 

fa0001-2T

(jenaspaws.com)

A couple weeks ago I noticed that Santo really wanted something to chew on. He was gumming the corners of his blankets, biting the ears of his stuffed friends, and chomping his tennis ball like bubble gum. My sister has an antler for our Doberman, Elsa, and Santo chewed it like crazy when we were there. I stopped by Mud Bay on my way home and bought him one. It seems expensive at first, I think ours was $25, but it’s worth it. He chews it every single day and it’s barely diminished at all. Santo’s jaws are ginormous and ridiculously strong, most toys that claim to be indestructible are not for him. But this is and it keeps him entertained and helps his toys and blankets from becoming fodder for his canines.

3. Costco-brand ground coffee 

8831078465566.jpg

(Costco.com)

I picked this up a while ago per the recommendation of a fellow Costco customer. I was skeptical. I am a little bit of a coffee snob but this was $9.99 for a massive jar so I figured what the heck. It’s surprisingly good coffee! And since there’s so much I can make my coffee as strong as I want! Which is perfect for me because it’s not strong enough until it pours like tar. I got that from my parents for sure.

4. The NPR app 

giphy

I stopped listening to the news for a couple weeks because it sort of felt like diving into a dumpster fire full of maggots first thing the morning but…now I’m ready to be a charred, worm-infested, informed citizen again. I like that I can listen to Morning Edition whenever I wake up and start getting ready without hearing ads or parts of programs I’m not interested in. Download the app, let’s be miserable together.

That’s all, folks! Enjoy your Saturday!!

 

Give me the peanut butter cups and nobody gets hurt

Apparently last night I rolled over in bed and, while sort of half-crouching, I proceeded to slap David in the chest and stomach a few times. He woke up and said, “babe what the heck!” and I just said “it’s a dream.” The only dream I can remember having last night was being in a large, eclectic department store shopping for necklaces and peanut butter cups. I was getting very frustrated because the store was probably ten stories tall and the walls were lined with hippie garb and none of the directions I got made any sense. I couldn’t find the peanut butter cups to save my life. Maybe David was the hapless store employee who told me to turn left at the dream-catcher hammocks (idk what those look like?!?). Anyway. Being married to me is a treasure I’m sure.

tumblr_mjrmt6Uo3h1s8tuuuo1_500

(www.wifflegif.com)

And yes, I do have vivid dreams like that every single night. It’s awesome. Going to sleep is like watching the weirdest movie a crack-head 13 year old could come up with. I also incorporate sounds around me into my dreams which makes it possible for me to sleep through ANYTHING. Seriously. I can sleep anytime, anywhere. It’s my one true, God-given talent. I wish every single day that it was marketable.

Kai came up with a beautiful after-school snack yesterday. That kid loves breakfast food. I’m pretty sure he could eat waffles or pancakes for every single meal and never get sick of them. I relate to that on a spiritual level.

IMG_4651

Pancakes topped with peanut butter, syrup, and honey-nut Cheerios! Genius! Thank goodness I had gum in my mouth or I would have stolen a couple bites. 😉 I always chew gum when I’m at the boys’ house now because I find myself nibbling on random snacks that I’m not actually hungry for. We don’t have any snack food at our house, and I’m so tempted by all the yummy goodies they have. The gum helps me from mindlessly popping things into my mouth.

giphy

(giphy.com)

I came home last night to such a treat! You may have already seen it on my Facebook or Instagram, but my husband is quite the chef. He loves cooking for us and not only is his food delicious, but his presentation is beautiful. I opened the door and heard calming music playing, smelled delicious food, and saw David working away.

IMG_4655

He made us buckwheat soba noodles with chicken and peanut sauce, dumplings, and a side salad!

IMG_4660

IMG_4664IMG_4662IMG_4663

For drinks we sipped a Christopher Michael cabernet that I picked up at New Seasons. I only share because it was DELICIOUS. Rich and almost creamy and just sweet enough. I don’t think you’re supposed to pair red wine with asian food (oh wait I don’t care) but it all tasted great together in my opinion.

After dinner we snuggled up on the couch to watch War for the Planet of the Apes. I fell asleep 5 minutes in. (see?! amazing sleeper!) I did, however, learn how to say “I’m thirsty” in sign language. I’m practically tri-lingual now. Wow. I amaze myself on a daily basis.

 

What I Ate Wednesday

Breakfast: a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with a banana on top. I forgot to snap a picture but…it was not that exciting to look at anyway.

Lunch: a chicken Caesar salad courtesy of Sanford’s and Uber Eats

IMG_4641

Oh my gosh you guys I paid $20 for this salad. How ridiculous. My parents and I talked about Mackenzie River Pizza Co. at dinner on Monday night and ever since then I’ve been DYING for one of their chicken caesars. My stomach started growling when I was doing my Vietnamese yesterday so I opened up Uber eats and selected this salad. I didn’t realize it was a $15 salad until it was already in my cart and I couldn’t figure out how to delete it! In the process of trying to delete it I ordered it. Hello $5 delivery fee. Face palm. It was a good salad though…

Dinner: gyro hummus with pita bread and veggie stew from Oasis, a Lebanese restaurant

img_4649.jpg

IMG_4650

This place ROCKS. Their food and service are absolutely wonderful. I was quite hungry when we got there so I went to town on the hummus appetizer and forgot to leave room for my main meal! I had about two bites and it’s currently waiting in the fridge for me for lunch. 🙂

Today the goal is to cook dinner and stay in! I also need some more hearty greens 😀 Have a wonderful Wednesday!

How to start getting out of a funk

We all get down in the dumps sometimes. It’s completely normal! But when you’ve had your cry and are ready to be productive again, here’s a list of things I like to do to put me in a better frame of mind.

  1. Take a shower.

giphy

(giphy.com)

The hot water relaxes your muscles, you feel nice and warm and clean, and putting on soft clothing once you’re done feels wonderful.

2. Put on a cute outfit and a touch of makeup

tenor

(tenor.com)

Even if I’m not going anywhere I’ll throw on some flattering sweats that I like and brush on some BB cream, blush, and mascara. When I look in the mirror and see my hair going everywhere, my skin greasy with flecks of yesterday’s mascara on it, and the baggy t shirt I slept in..it seems to reinforce the idea that I’m not feeling my best. You won’t feel instantly amazing, but sometimes you have to start from the outside in.

3. Drink a big glass of water

tenor

(tenor.com)

Something about drinking a large glass of water is so refreshing in so many ways. If I’ve eaten unhealthfully throughout a day, drinking water makes me feel like I’m flushing out the bad to make room for the good. Being hydrated also makes me feel less lethargic which helps with my mood overall.

4. Think about the last time you ate something

tenor

(tenor.com)

I’m not advocating for stress eating or emotional eating, but often when I’m sad my appetite vanishes. Gradually, throughout the day, I start feeling worse and worse. Tired, tearful, shaky, etc. Then I’ll realize it’s been 8 hours since I’ve eaten! Have something healthy and filling. Maybe pair it from the water from #4.

5. Do something, anything, productive.

YCOiZCj

(imager.com)

Pay a bill, walk the dog, do some homework, write a letter you’ve been meaning to write, throw in a load of laundry, make the bed, volunteer, cook something new, anything! Feeling like you’re being useful is the best way to lift your spirits.

Obviously, if you’re feeling down, grumpy, sad, or depressed, doing all five of these things won’t instantly make you feel like a million bucks. And if you really feel like you just need an afternoon to curl up with a book in your jammies and be alone, go for it! But when you’re ready to enter the fray again, these are some good small steps to get started. 😀